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Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
The music man in my family
Has fingers made of piano keys
I hear his songs
throughout the house
Speaking the language
That bleeds through him
From his father's early
bassoon notes
And mother's late night
flute whispers
And there it is:
The language of the music man
Freedom sounds
That tinker up the walls
And through the vents
And pipes of our house
All from the piano key fingers
Of our music man.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
like waves in the air,
poetry is a scream in the forest,
the pebble on the beach,
the utterance of a soul,
scribbled in black,
and signed with red.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
I rose on a Sunday morning,
wrapped my hair up above my tired face,
and slid slippers onto tired feet.
I was welcomed by the sound of parents
discussing gently
the beauty of half-and-half
with warm mugs snugly in their palms.
After all this time,
they still have coffee every morning
in the pale blue
of Seattle rain.
After all this time,
they still laugh at the jokes
they've heard for twenty years.
Through all these twists and breaks,
they still laugh.
I sit nearby with toast,
the butter melting slowly
diving into the dips
and kinks of the hot
brown bread.
And I sit.
Listening to the joy of parents,
of best friends,
and I think
of all the years I have ahead,
all the kinds of people I will meet,
and loves I will find,
but none will mean as much
as those two
with warm mugs snugly in their palms.
I will come back
years from now,
pains from now,
loves from now,
asking for that half-and-half
and those ancient jokes.
Nothing means as much.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
hello stranger,
how long has it been
since we last met?
it must have been
just last week
when we sat on the bench
and fed the birds.
that’s when we last met.
that sounds about right.
i wonder where you went.
we used to meet here
every day.
it began when i was strolling
in the park
you were feeding the birds
wearing everything you owned
and carrying the rest
in a rusty shopping cart.
And when you held your hand out
with the tin cup resting in your palm
I reached to give a coin
but you were handing me
instead a cup filled with brown seeds.
You asked me to sit with you.
we said nothing
and it was enough.
your wrinkled old man hands
folded gently around your cup of oats.
toss toss
they fell to the cold concrete
the birds snapped at them
peck peck
your gift to the world
for giving you nothing.

hello stranger
how long has it been
since we last talked?
it must have been
a few days
when you explained to me
the tale of your misfortunate soul.
that sounds about right
a few days ago
since we sat back on that
splitered, oak bench
but this time with the scraps of paper
faces printed on them
in sepia gold tones
with rounded smiles.
photos of your family
you told me of the days
you wasted without them.
they're now gone
your only gift from the world.

i wonder where you went.
you told me of your plans to leave
this empire, skyscraper prison.
i never thought you would,
sorry to admit it.
maybe I will never know
where you went,
or maybe you were never there.
but i still go to that bench
and toss the oats on cold concrete
for the homeless birds
peck peck
they remind me of you

goodbye, stranger.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
some people look at the world
from behind a glass.
and some look at it
from behind the glass of another.
there should be value in this,
but glass is just glass,
and people are just broken wine glasses.
so I guess it’s all the same
no matter how we look at it.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
It's blinding
how many stars there are.
Not just millions,
but trillions of blazing specks
that are just floating,
burning in absolute nothing.  
And they do it for no reason,
there's no goal that unites them,
no yoking drive or resolution
other than the pure instinct to just do,
to just be.
And despite all this
they still burn with the hottest of fire,
unfathomable fire.
Kinda makes me jealous.
But somehow
people only wonder how.
In fact, they dedicate their short lives
just to answering that one tiny question
about these things we see at night.
But what I'm wondering is why.
Why so many?
Why trillions of these things just there burning?

You'd think we ought to have figured it out by now.
Amanda Fawcett Mar 2013
You asked me how I am doing
and I said “Good”
You asked me to be honest
and I said “I’m fine”
You told me to expand.
I replied,
"I'm not good at all.
And I want that to be simple enough.
I'm not being exaggerative
or selfish
or birthing drama for drama's sake.
It's just that I am here.
Here on silly earth,
And I feel alone at crossroads in my life.
I am under no illusion
of my incredibly blessed
or undeserving existence.
But that's just the problem.
LIFE is starting now.
And for the first time,
I have had to make choices
choices on my own
(according to mother)
will shape who I fundamentally
become as a human.
So that's a bit distracting.
‘You need to remember not to let people down.’
‘You should consider how you love someone, not just when to.’
‘You ought to be more assertive or it'll all come crashing down.’
She reminds me of my
uncontrollable imperfection
on a daily basis
Not necessarily through her words
I doubt she wants to inflict this on me.
But the way way she stares at me sometimes
from across the room.
Like she’s trying to admire a painting
that secretly
no one quite appreciates
or understands
but everyone seems to find profound meaning in it
so you go along
with the show.
Which I wouldn't have a problem with
if I could wake up refreshed in the
And not tired
like I am.
All the time.
I’m tired of being fifteen.
Because inside,
I don’t feel fifteen.
My mind turns on fifty year old gears
churning up one hundred year old
The age in which I currently must suffer through
is misunderstood
and incorrectly represented.
Teenager is a word parents
shudder to hear.
A word elders instantly accuse.
A word authorities doubt without reasonable basis.
The drum pumping my soul
is in fact a solo ensemble.
I am naturally clumped in with the lot
of marching bands
that clash and crash,
stomp and slam their drums
as they parade the flag
of fickle rebellion
into the air they barely know.
Don’t get me wrong,
the stereotypes of my age and time
are drawn up
from some truth,
but one truth shouldn’t result
in one outlook.
You don’t roll dice with
only threes on the faces
or only ones.
So it is hard to watch as
everywhere I go,
titles and labels
are being stuck into me
like toothpicks in a fruit salad.
And first of all,
just because society cuts me up
and breaks me down like a pineapple
you can buy with leftover quarters
doesn’t mean that I’m up for grabs.
And secondly,
No one should be branded
simply because
it is easier to ignore them
than to know them.
Don’t hear this as a “oh she’s a teenage girl” moment
hear this as a “she’s a human and wants to be heard without your filter over her words” moment
So, I’m having a hard time with that.
Not to mention the rest.”

“The rest?” You asked.

“You know,”
I said,
“How I have to decide what school
I am going to commit to
which is slightly like choosing
between your two parents.
You can’t pick one happily
and freely
without knowing what could’ve been
if you lived with dad instead.
It’s tricky to wake up in the morning.
It’s tricky to get out of bed
because I know that sooner than later
I will either be moving
that bed into the basement
or into a dorm
which won’t be on the campus I really desire
because God knows I didn’t
save enough pennies for that.
My whole future is before me.
Almost literally
considering the number of pamphlets stapled
over the dreams I carved so meticulously
out of my ‘mind wood’
with my ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’ knife.
So that’s intimidating.
And all those “it’ll work itself out” speeches
that surround me
don’t make the choices
suddenly blare across the radio
or start blinking from neon signs
telling me what to do
what to chose
what to be.
In the end,
all those “don’t worry about it”
and “you’ll figure it out”
do nothing but put a knot in my gut
that no amount of research
or interviews
or Friday night pig outs
can untie.
Because this stuff,
these moments as I build my foundation
for my single LIFE with little slippery Lego blocks
are not made with cheery hand-outs
or inspiring quotes.
LIFE is formed by me
choosing which Lego brick color
choosing which Lego brick shape
and of course
choosing which people will
help me to construct it.
It’s tricky
It’s messy
It’s loud
and it makes other things
hard to focus on.”

“Other things?”
You said.

“Other things.”
I reply.
“You know,
those books I have to read
those graphs I have to draw
those tests I have to study for
those miles I have to run
those words I have to memorize
those labs I have to finish
those annotations I have to complete
those poems I have to parse.
Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t mind school
Unlike the kids who complain
that they are forced to educate themselves.
I have no problem learning.
In fact, I want to
long to.
It’s not the books
or the deadlines.
It’s the people.
The people.
The cowardly childish people
with their smug clothes
and horrendous attitudes
that you can smell just over
the stink of their pomp.
I feel for them
because they don’t feel for themselves.
and because there is little way to prove to these kids
that they can be them
not doctored them
or decorated them
the “them” they thrive to be
not the “them” they try to be.
So I’m surrounded by people
icky people
whose glares and stares
and whispers like cold ghosts
leave me too feeling torn between
being myself
(whatever that even means)
and being accepted.
I want to be free
to try new things,
but new things are poison here at school
new things are demeaning
because they’re demanding.
I have moments where I say
‘Be you. What does it matter?’
But then when I am alone
at the table
at the only open table
with the last chair
the one that squeaks if you
rock to the left
when I am
listening to the music no one knows
and reading the book no one chose
thinking about the movie even no theater shows
that’s when moments of guilt ridden
loneliness bring me to say
‘Put yourself away for now.
Put in a pin in it.
Come back to what you want
after you’re done being what
society thinks you need.’
it is hard to be loved
by one sided people
it is hard to be loved
when the world wants you to say
what it wants to hear.
Us teenagers think we wear invincibility cloaks
So we never have to see those under the invisibility cloaks
‘Don’t question it!’
seems to be the motto of most I meet here.
Because who wants to learn,
who wants to try
if it makes them question their comfort?
And of course that all just touches the surface
of that other thing.
The thing I don’t want to really talk about.”

You pushed me to tell you.

So I did.
“I’m afraid
of God.
I’m afraid
of Death.
I can’t go off of blind faith
like I did when I was young.
I can’t accept ‘Jesus loves you
this I know’
because this I don’t know.
And no one
Not my parent
Not my mentor
Not even my Bible
can give me enough hope in this regard
to bring me to accept not knowing.
This amount of stress is me
Sits as a damp frog
Pestering me to choose
Croaking up unformed opinions
in the form of tar
that I get trapped in.
How can I believe in something
How can I devote my life to something
How can I pray to someone
that I am not even convinced has cared
for a thousand years?
I want to think God knows my name
that he is above me as
those shiny, divine painting portray.
But they’re lies.
And people expect me to believe
that he is smiling down on me like
a new daddy over a crib.
He isn’t a father to me.
So, I feel lost
and confused
and scared that I’m wrong
and even more terrified that I am right.
I’m scared of
And I’m scared
to die.
I don’t quite think I even know
how to live yet.”

You said.

I whispered.
“I know.”

We both paused.
My arms rested
at my sides.
Yours swung across
your chest.

“So you’re doing great then?”
You managed to slide through a smile.
“That’s good to hear.”
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