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Kara Ashley Jan 2019
You told me you loved me

As you looked me in the eyes
Us perched on the hood of a car,
Night sky all around and
A shining moon up above
Like some sort of choreographed movie scene,
But we were the stars

You told me I was beautiful,
That I deserved so much more than the love I received from another.
You wanted to hold me in your arms,
And loved the way my scent lingered on your shirt when you left

Your fingers brushed over mine and twiddled my fingers, as your mind escaped to a far away place
I remember the hugs, that held me so tight I could barely take in a breath
Of course, I didn’t care if I could breathe or not
I didn’t care when you stepped on my feet as we slow danced too fast to a song neither of us knew the title to
Or when you laughed so hard you spit a piece of food at me
Nope, I didn’t care
because I couldn’t possibly fathom any part of you as wrong

I still have the poems you wrote for me, you know,
The one where you fell for me first
And wrote about what it was like to be on the ground, while I was still standing up
You long

Eventually I started to trip myself,
Until I lost my balance
and fell
Expecting to fall in your arms,
But hit the hard ground instead
Because that was when you realized,
It wasn’t worth it anymore

You stood up that day
And finally walked away

But I never told you,
I love you too.
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
I want to write poetry,
I want to paint your sky with a million colors,
Or tell you how beautiful you really are.
But the words in my head are a thin gold necklace,
Knotted in 80 different ways
Impossible to unravel, except by those with steady hands
And patience.
Patience to sit alone and focus
To pay attention
As they pull at each part of the knot,
Slowly breaking away parts of the chain
Sometimes grabbing the wrong section, that isn’t quite ready to be yanked out yet.
It might take months, or even a year if you lose focus.

Once you finally see each loop of the delicate chain,
You can wear it upon your neck.
See how beautiful it really is,
And how easily it can break,
Or be knotted all over again

But jewelry can’t untangle itself,
And who has time to untangle a necklace when you can pick up some earrings instead.

Tell me, is it worth it?
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
midsummer day-
The sun was calling us by the names
Two little brace faced dorks running out her back screen door
To find a secret hideout for the day
With composition books in hand of course
Our Top Secret  composition books,
Where we wrote about our futures, and boys (shhhh)

We ruled the streets of Bennington woods
Claiming the oak tree in someone’s yard
Where we competed for height in our cheap foam flip flops
Owning the pine trees of another
Where we spied on the teenagers
Trying to understand their secret language
But it was under an old wooden porch where we pulled out the books
And this time, we’d plan our weddings

We would wear beautiful dresses and pointy high heels
Just like a princess
And most certainly marry our dreamy little  blue eyed boy crushes
I even crossed my heart and hoped to die so she would be my maid of honor
Last but not least, we had to choose our wedding flowers

It was the season of flowers; tulips, daisies, marigolds…
Every house was decorated in a colorful array
We ran exuberantly, scanning our options
Then began to pick away
Every flower we knew or didn’t,
As long as we had one of each
We covered the entire street til our hands and books were overflowing
At home we taped them into our precious journals
Sealed forever so we would remember,
These were the flowers we’d have in our wedding bouquets
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
Twinkling fireworks on a warm summer night
I’m enthralled by the starkness of radiance,
The thunderous boom and magical shine.
And yet they flee
I watch them falter and fall,
Quietly acknowledging the sentiment

They banned us from building more castles in the sky,,
so we made forts in the basement instead
Clanked our glasses for freedom and self- determination
Embracing our glorious reign

Pencil drawn blueprints, methodically planned
Smudged lines of dreamlike destiny
We would have made it too.
Had we not carelessly lent them to fate

The blackness of the sky made them perish
Glittering ashes settled at my feet
Nothing but a smokey shadow marked our sweet juvenescence
The stars and the moon unscathed
It really was a fantastic show.
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
Dear Brother,

I was struggling.
Anxiety attacks and utter insecurity,
The pit in my stomach was a permanent crater
But I saw you
At recess, standing on the blacktop alone
And I forgot about myself

They told you you couldn’t play football with them.
Your limp was horrible, you didn’t understand the rules exactly
Boys running up to tap me on the arm
Yelling “Get him away from me”
“Tell him to leave me alone”
How am I supposed to tell my brother no one wants to be his friend
No one wants to talk to you Ryan because they can’t understand what you’re saying
They don’t even want to try.

Everyday the school called home, he’s hopeless
Detentions for yelling at the teacher,
The one who didn’t bother to notice he was trying
And he did try too, so hard
So hard he came home calling himself stupid
Because that is all he summed up to at the glories of public highschool

Mom cried, and Dad tried to give her hope
That someday people would treat you right
And I prayed that I wouldn’t keep hearing kids mutter your name in the hallways
Completely unknowing that you were my brother
And all the times your frustration built,
Holes in the wall and broken door frames
I never ever blamed you.

Now we stand side by side at graduation
And I want you to know,
I couldn’t be more proud of us.
Dear brother,
You will always be one of the best things that ever happened to me
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
He sat on the couch with a glass of red wine
Watching the news with jaded eyes
Finally home from the 8 hour shift +overtime

His world was threadbare
One taxing day and then another,
Wondering how long it would last
He knew the nature of the business field
The downs and the ups and the downs, back up-again
This cycle he circled; he knew as the true life cycle of a man

At home he had a wife and kids
His little loves and one true beauty
He worked so she could be with them all day
They loved their mother
She bought them toys and candy
He was the secret benefactor,
But mommy always made them happy
He spent every rare day off with them
He taught them how to ride their bikes,
Held the handlebars for balance
Made sure they wouldn’t fall,
But when they made him let go and fell,
They ran to her for safety

He worked for them you see
He wasn’t happy but they all were,
And that was what really mattered

God, he would give his life for those kids
That’s why he already did
But you know how the saying goes
“There’s nothing like a mothers love”
And he was just a father
Kara Ashley Jan 2019
A poem for me, utterly confused

My feet hurt
From running on the rough edge of the street
No shoes, no socks
My hair and clothes were soaked by now
Completely drenched in rain and desolation
Each drop another word or name you called me

Dissatisfaction on the tip of my tongue
But i couldn’t reach for answers
What on earth did I do this time
To be deemed so unworthy
To be called so unholy
To be hurt, yet again
By you

i ran
I ran so my heart could run rampant, avoiding the pit of hell below,
my stomach
Which burned with acid, churned with bitterness
Poignancy pulsing through my veins
I longed for a place to call home
determined and dejected
I gasped for each breath of mild dewy air
And tasted the cynical sweetness

All I could think of was why can’t the sun make it all go away

L e a v e m e a l o n e
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