Broken Stars | Teen Ink

Broken Stars

September 9, 2021
By Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
147 articles 41 photos 1014 comments

Favorite Quote:
The universe must be a teenage girl. So much darkness, so many stars.

She stared from the heart-folds of her eyes

Her baby face and a water-glass in her hand—

When daddy was home

She could feel the wind about him

He was rocking and swaying with fumble fingers

He looked at her with red-eyed hate

At the moment the bourbon bottle sailed through the air

Missing her head by a half-inch

She threw herself flat and tearless against the bottom stair

Watching the whole bottle dissolve into shards like stars

Lit up by sixteen watts and falling fast

She knelt by the largest ragged shard and saw herself

A photograph stamped in broken glass

Her silver reflection preserved her one moment

Safe from the scavenger of time.

Too many bottles

Breaking everything as they broke gravity

Her eyes meeting the shards like chords

Her sweet notes melting into sudden dissonance

For tomorrow she would hold her sister’s hand tight

And they would sit together on the school bus

The little sister the fiercely protected one

She the six-year-old protector

With the Hello Kitty backpack and the breaking star eyes.

She didn’t remember her daddy’s icy hands

Slamming the basement door and forcing her to her knees

She didn’t remember the cords and belts and tears

She didn’t remember—

Like a marble falling down a heating vent

Memory graciously left her

A childhood amnesiac.

She knew she smelled bad on the school bus

And none of the nice church kids

Invited her to their Vacation Bible School party

She would never make baby angel wings

In their good-children Christmas play

She would get tags from the school’s charity-present tree

Dreaming the few presents into hundreds

Unwrapping one pair of clothes and one toy.

She knew she was alone

Just her and her little sister

Struggling to survive day to day.

She somehow passed into adulthood—

One day

She found herself

In a city far away

Standing on a bridge

Looking at her reflection in the water

Staring at the black-eye sky

Trying to see if there were

Broken stars falling

As fast as her own eyes

Fell with unshed

Star tears.

The author's comments:

Visit if you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, depression, or other mental health issues. 


This is the darkest piece I ever wrote. It's about the child of an abusive alchoholic. The girl in this poem has amnesia about her early trauma but finds it coming back to her in little pieces when she's grown up.

Trauma can come out in many forms as people try to handle it. Some kids put up a funny, spunky personality in a desprate attempt to keep on the bright side, and they can be extremely protective of their siblings. I've known two girls who have amnesia like this, though I'm not exactly sure what happened to them.

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This article has 2 comments.

Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Apr. 10 at 9:13 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
147 articles 41 photos 1014 comments

Favorite Quote:
The universe must be a teenage girl. So much darkness, so many stars.

OK, trigger warning, even if it's belated, I'm sorry.

on Apr. 10 at 9:05 pm
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
200 articles 23 photos 1053 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)

"Upon his bench the pieces lay
As if an artwork on display
Of gears and hands
And wire-thin bands
That glisten in dim candle play." -Janice T., Clockwork[love that poem, dont know why, im not steampunk]

you should probably have added a trigger warning to the title