Be Still

It’s been a while

since the clock struck twelve

and all the world

was quiet–

all the past forgiven,

no sirens a-screamin,

just belief

in the silence,

in the tears.

 

The sky has cried

and so have I

to release

all this strange human guilt,

for puddles aside,

we can read all the lies:

the treasure is at the end

of the death row:

 

Death of The Other,

Death of The End,

Death of It’ll Never Happen Again,

a feeling of peace,

a meaning in light,

where all can let go

and be still.

 

October 19, 2015

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? 

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

Voice

Feel my voice

like a finger plucked across a rubber band

vibrations ringing through the air

breaking no twilight, no dawn,

only silence.

 

If you were so blessed

with a voice– use it!

 

Proudly, wisely, powerfully,

thoughtfully,

because a voice transfers more than words,

it moves worlds

from brain to tongue,

words I’m not always sure of

 

But I am sure of this:

I have a voice,

not an echo

 

mine, my own

to treasure and to keep

not locked-up in a chest

but drawn out, into the open,

 

like rain drops falling onto grass.

 

May 11, 2014

Quiet

All of the

chatter

and the

noisiness

and the

nonsense

“Break out

of your shell”

thrown out,

all over the

world’s spotlight

but it would never

be on me–

and neither would I

want it to be

at age three

I excused myself to bed

whispered an 8pm “Goodnight”

to keep the peace.

Kindergarden:

I journeyed from playdate

to playdate

how many friends

does one girl need, anyway?

Seventh grade:

bus rides in silence,

listening

Ninth, high school cafeteria

eating with Caitlin and a motley crew

because “Who else would I be with?”

I wondered how I would

ever matter

if I kept staying in on the weekend

with a good book, or a pen

to scribble a poem or two

about loosing you–

an introverted, soft-skinned self

that all along,

was just me.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en

 

December 25, 2014