The Assignment

January 20, 2018
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“Write a feeling poem”
I grab my pencil and my ideas and emotions flow onto the paper
With no structured plan
Piecing together the words to make a strong tower.
Gathering metaphors
Stacking for long hours
First, I start off with the base.
I place the bricks down on the ground
Each brick of a different color
Each one is clashing with another
Draft one done.
Happily, I hand it to the teacher
She plucks it from my hands
Pinching it from the top
Balancing it between her index and her thumb
She peers down at the dangling poem
The piece that I took hours to create
Darting her eyes up to me she says,
“You need a comma here, and take out this sentence over there”
“This is all wrong.”
“Did You Even Read the Rubric?”
I look down at my poem.
So precious to me.
I feel as if I have created a beautiful bird
To live in my tower of words
I look down at the rubric
“The poem has a unity between the lines and stanzas, which connect the topic” it reads.
I hesitate. I pluck off the bird’s colorful feathers
One by one
Until it gets a unified look
Tearing it apart in each and every nook
Removing every line
Wanting to meet the guidebook
“The poem uses at least three similes and metaphors”
The bird roams free in the tower
Like my emotional self    
A pang of guilt is stirred
As I take the cage off the shelf
And gently pick up the bird
“The poem must be 10-15 lines and have an AB - AB rhyme scheme”
Its wingspan is too wide to fit into the narrow cage
I pin the bird down as it struggles from my grip.
I strap its wings down to its body and carefully place it into the cage.
The bird looks up in discomfort.
Draft Two Done.
I look back at my poem
Now with singsong rhymes that make me cringe
I feel a tinge of loss of what it could have been
Yes, my poem is wild and messy
But it needs revisions not restrictions
I wanted people to read my poem
And to be taken on an adventure
To be able to explore it; to enjoy it
To be taken up and down by the rollercoaster of my emotions
To be able to feel how I feel
I want it to be powerful; have no specific meaning
Something that each person who looks at it sees it differently
I want it to be something with no set shape or color
The edges are now boxy
It is strict and neat
With clean cuts
Squeezed and cornered into a small space
With little emotion to fit inside
No one can go in to explore
They’ll only see it by glancing into it from above
“What a nice poem” people will say.
And that’s all they’ll say; But that’s okay
Because at least I’ll get the easy A






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