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? 

Come Meet Me

Come

meet me,

and all the other

voices that live

inside your head.

……

I am no more.

…..

You will listen and

listen

and listen

but you will create no more.

….

You can write about fear

You can look at it

straight in the face

Your ability to heal is profound.

..

Today is only today:

pure, empty, simple–

like your body,

your mind

.

Our souls, roaming this world,

uniting our light with that of the universe.

June 9, 2015

I, You, and Me

“There’s no need

to play with my heart.”

I never realized

just how badly

you hurt me

But the beauty

is that it is not “me”

that you hurt.

I am human,

a continuous self

not stagnant,

sitting on a shelf

I have learned

and I have moved

away

from the erroneous notion

that “I”

is a real term–

we are all connected

please show me

in the times my past

comes creeping up into my chest

that the pain is worth

the sunshine I still see

outside my window,

the candles lighting my table

they sit

honestly,

knowingly,

unquestioning

of past boyfriends and best friends

who seemed to know what was best for me

when I was a “me” without a voice

Now,

I am heard

we all have something to say–

first to ourselves

the memories will still glitter

like gold

as I crumple up the ugly

into ashes,

for my soul has always been clean

You were 

always hurting,

for you were

are

human, too,

on the brink of an island

of our childhoods,

our teenage, innocence-tacked

to-naivety

years

have gone by

and I feel like the only thing left

to do

is to not to forgive and forget,

but to forgive…

And then hurry on back

to my “me,”

our “us,”

now.

..

inspired in part by the music of Noah and the Whale 

.

April 5, 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

Together

To say

I live the highest life

would not be far off course

for I sail

to my own wind–

it turns the sails

as I do.

And yet

I know the voices in your head

can lead you off track

as your own voice sinks

down

to a lost narrative–

until you finally rise up

to the brink.

Wide

open sky

as a simile would say

“mine

is ours”

for “I” cannot exist

without “us”

and “eternity”

is filled with the eternal breath

of strangers

that are nevertheless

brothers

and to imagine a life

without fear

is to see a real heaven,

with love,

spilling over the sides.

December 1, 2014

Mine

I remember

the first time I knew

I had a voice.

 

The high school cafeteria,

the salty pizza–the salted pretzels

hanging in the air

as my story concludes,

“And I laid there

until the police showed up,”

To my house? My body

surrounded

by laughter I concocted

how

how can this be?

 

I wash down the salt

with some OJ and try to remember

the last time I told a story

and heard it–

like the cop over my head

cracked open spilling blood

onto the basement floor.

 

Now it’s my friends

at this round table laughing

their way to my insides,

to the heart that thought

not even a phone call

to the local hospital could be

enough

to be heard from across town,

across the street,

across the table

 

I meet eyes

filled with nature’s shadows

giving me a look of acceptance

into how these words

can be mine,

heard

by sixteen year old girls

wondering what to have

for lunch the next day.

 

October 18, 2014