just a part of me

I grew up in a world where it was not okay to be quiet–

in some ways, I still live there.

Soccer practices, soccer games,

school hallways, overflowing lunchrooms

family parties,

hanging out with friends.

Being labeled,

The Quiet One

felt like wearing an oversized sweater,

one I could sink into and never be found.

In college,

I spent one night peering into a bar

from a long, underaged line

and met a young man.

I spoke to him for ten minutes,

and he took my phone number

without me realizing it

(but that’s another poem).

He messaged me later

calling me,

Shy Girl.

After living in a locker room

for what felt like the two years prior

seemingly ignored

by supposed friends–

I couldn’t help but accept the label.

Of course,

I am Shy Girl.

Naturally,

I am The Quiet One.

Blurring into the background is just part of the package.

Society wanted personable presidents and extroverted aristocrats;

I was a simple shadow,
my identity

the pen that fell out of my hands.

Was I really ignored for being introverted?

Was I really unaccepted in full

because I’d rather listen to your story

than fill up space with my own?

Is it true

that this happens to children every day?

When we think “micro-aggression”

we often think “race,”

“gender,”

“sexuality.”

I want the conversation to start including

“personality”

because the fact that children can feel unwanted,

not enough,

simply because they are being themselves…

it is not okay in my book.

It’s only when I started writing it myself

that I realized being part “introvert”

is but a simple petal on a flower,

a single leaf on a tree–

it’s just a part of me.

October 1, 2015

Reading about micro-aggressions in graduate school brought up this thought, these memories.   Can you relate? 

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Quiet

I want to revel in my introversion forever,

I want my quiet nature and simple heart beat

to spread itself in the wind,

tracing my toes and sweeping my hair back

and forth.

 

I need not be ashamed

that my peoples’ place in history

is rarely one of the well known, public speaker–

ironically we can relish in the solitude of being unknown

 

Modesty is our finest cloak,

lightest backpack,

ready to take on the trail

 

Life: it is not a game,

not a show,

there is no reason to speak so loud

 

The silence pours through me in buckets,

and I’m reminded that in this time,

at all times, it is okay to be me,

a porcelain doll

not afraid of getting some dirt on her

with bracelets of stone

reminding me of where I really come from.

 

Life is art; we are such a simple part.

 

Do not hate; find your confidence elsewhere.

 

There is nothing we own; leave your selfishness

home at the table.

 

The wood I see is layered with light,

bark, leaves and sky

I bow down to you and nothing else.

 

My love knows Muir so well,

that even in a city I could joyfully write

about daffodils in spring,

in a park where it is sunny,

summer blooms,

and I can be nothing but quiet.

 

June 14, 2015