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They Asked Me to Write About Hope

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My freshman year they asked me to write about hope
What does it look like?
What does it feel like?
What does it SOUND like?
What does hope sound like?
How am I supposed to tell you what hope sounds like
If I don’t even know what it would sound like if my mom had a broken heart,
If I don’t even know what it would sound like if my sister was depressed,
Or my dad was angry,
Or my brother... was in love?
How am I supposed to tell you what hope sounds like if I don’t even know what it sounds like
Inside
My mind?
My freshman year they asked me to write about hope
H - O - P - E hope.
Noun, verb, adjective?
Adverb maybe?
I - I don’t really know.
My freshman year they asked me to write about hope
And I didn’t.
I’m a junior now,
And when they ask me to write about hope
And what that looks like
I will tell them it looks like
Bright sunsets...
Behind dark clouds.
And when they ask me what hope feels like,
I will tell them it feels like the first breath after an anxiety attack.
And when they ask me what hope SOUNDS like,
I will tell them that it sounds more like falling leaves in October
Than “I Love You’s” whispered in my ear.
I will tell them that it sounds more like church bells on Christmas,
Than the slurred words and loud voices of my friends.
I will tell them that hope sounds more like my mother,
Than my father.
It sounds more like new year's resolutions
Than I almost’s and I wish’s
More like game 7 of the world series
Than the first kickoff of football season.
More like intelligent minds
Than Saturday night T.V.
More like flipping pages of a book
Than the click click clicking through the trashy television programs.
More like articulate minds
Than sharp words and abusive tones.
More like lunch bells
Than tardy bells
More like 16th birthday’s
Than first heartbreaks
More like the st-st-st-stuttering of a scared child
Than the silence of an abused one
More like the half time whistle
Than the buzzer at the end of a lost championship game
More like second chances
Than failed classes
More like “I’m sorry’s”
Than shattered glasses
More like rain on the street than water in the sink
Trying to wash away
Old mistakes.
And when they ask me what hope sounds like I will tell them that it sounds like me
That it sounds like important birthdays I forgot
Like late assignments that I lost
Like mistakes I’ve made
And the chances I’ve given and been given.
Like memories that fade,
And love that never does.
My freshman year they asked me to write about hope.
H-O-P-E hope.
Noun. The feeling that what is wanted can be had.
October leaves, Christmas bells, baseball games, rain,
And me.




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