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I know they say
I’m not less than in view
But I’m bursting at the seams
Of being told

        What I can be

I'm more than that pretty thing
        hiding in the corner.

When can I state my view?
Decide my own timeline.
Fight as a peer
Instead of a squalid sequel.

I’m more than that pretty thing
        gracing your arm.

When will I be seen for my intelligence?
Be introduced as my accomplishments
Not just someone’s pet.

I’m more than that pretty thing
        reading beside you

These walls are filled with work;
Teeming with the outcomes of edification
Twists and turns in vivid inspiration

I’m filled to the brim
Yet more will emerge

I’m more than that pretty thing
        dancing next to you.

I’m an artist
With a vision all my own

A writer
Spinning words of chaos across a page.

My body can bring forth life
But it’s worth more than that
Yet your say is better than mine?

I’m more than that pretty thing
        sleeping beside you.

Yes, I wear lingerie
But bring those eyes up
It’s not for your viewing pleasure.

I’m more than that pretty thing
        silent in acquiescence.

I need to get out
Before these walls cave in
If I get any more
I won’t claim what to do.

        It can’t take a lifetime
        But I’ll fight one true

I’m more than that pretty thing
        wading through the crowd

That’s the way it needs to be
Time is running few

Running out of walls is not the way I plan to be.

I'm more than that pretty thing
        marching down the street.

I’m that pretty thing
        emerging from the shadows.
I’m that pretty thing
        taking care of others.
I’m that pretty thing
        using those walls.
I’m that pretty thing
        running for a change.
I’m that pretty thing
        awake in passion.
I’m that pretty thing
        screaming to be heard.
I’m that pretty thing
        pushing through the mud.

I’m that pretty thing marching down the street.
One
Somewhere in Vermont
I see the sky
Stars scattered
like lighting bugs back home

Clouds drift,
Cold breeze,
Threatening rain

Shaped like an unfamiliar constellation
Headlamps shine
Some red, some blue, some yellow
Some bright, some dim

There's a presence here
Neither scary
Or threatening

Or even mysterious

People breathe,
A guitar sounds,
Pens scribble
Each in unity with the other

Somewhere in Vermont
People write
Separated by space
Their own thoughts
Spilling around them

Combining as one
Yet still
Individual

Brought together
By happenstance

They breathe together
as
One
I sit back on the computer,
Browsing through the pages of those I grew up with
Those people who thought they knew everything about me
I sit back and see what they’ve made of themselves

This girl is single, living alone with her four cats
This other girl now has two kids, unmarried and no degree
This girl is engaged to her high school sweetheart, yet they don’t look happy
This other couple broke up, wait they’re back together, nope spoke too soon
This guy is working at the local supermarket, never went to college after his arrest
This guy gained a few pounds, no longer the star athlete
This guy dropped off the map

See being the quiet girl, I learned secrets
I knew the deepest secrets of every single one of these people
Because while they sat in the back of the room chattering on about their so called problems
I was sitting in the front,

Listening

This girl had two boyfriends, and even more flings
This girl slept with four guys in one night
This girl’s boyfriend cheated on her, over and over again
This couple would sneak off in between classes, during lunch, or school assemblies
This guy was the trophy child, who gave away free drugs to his friends hidden inside pens
This guy was the quarterback; everything handed to him on a golden platter
This guy was the school stud who was hiding a relationship with his boyfriend by sleeping with every girl he could

Back then I listened because I wanted to feel apart of something bigger
I wanted to be one of them,
I wanted to be invited to all those weekend bashes
I wanted to be the girl people felt awed by, inspired by, idolized
I wanted to be part of the “in” crowd

So I stood there, day after day
As they teased me
Berated me
Shattered my confidence
Tearing apart everything I was
Telling me I would never amount to anything
Telling me I was fat, ****, ******
That I unworthy of love
Telling me…

I

Was

Nothing




Let them tell me that today
I see everything of what they have become
Those people I wanted to be are no longer there
Their confidence shattered by reality

The best days of their life ended the day they left high school

Mine on the other hand are just beginning
I am the girl who is wanted
I’m the girl who can go wild
I’m the girl who can be passionate
I’m the girl who is adventurous
I’m the girl who brings pride
I’m the girl who is the athlete
I'm the girl who travels the world
I’m the girl who is unashamed of who I am

Because by pushing me out
My oppressors gave me everything I needed
The strength to try
The courage to dream
The ability to think
The confidence to be unique
Independence to thrive
But more than anything
My oppressors gave me desire

Desire to be more than they believed I could be
When I was little
We never went to the beach,
Or the lake,
Or the river
In fact the very idea that,
Anything was larger than the creek behind my house
Was foreign to me  

I knew it existed,
But I didn’t really…
I’d never seen it

But when I did, I still remember the fear  
Walking up to edge of the cool water
The grit of the sand
The heat of the sun
The smell of fish
The knowledge that the waves could pull me in

Take me away  

But the thing that stays with me the most
Is the feeling
I felt calm
I felt at peace
I never knew that
Never understood it anyway

I could have stood there for hours
Just staring out at the endlessness
Knowing that there was something on the other side of that
Something else that I could see
It made me realize how small I was
It made me realize how big I was

I guess that’s the beginning

I went back,
Searching
For that feeling again
I returned to very spot
Same time of day
Same day of the year
But it wasn’t the same
Something’s was missing

Maybe I just needed a different beach
Maybe I don't need a beach
But I still kept searching
Looking around
Questioning if I’ll ever feel so small again
Someday
Somehow
I’d feel that again
That endlessness
That serenity
That hope

But if that was the only time
I wish I had taken more
Just a few seconds
To really memorize it
To really embrace it
Before I ran off

I hiked up a mountain side
The rough rocks digging into my hands
The leaves providing shade
The nutty, floral scent on the wind
Then there at the top
The sun set below the horizon
And then that feeling arose once again

And I knew it wasn’t endlessness
I felt that day
Rather I was

Complete
As a kid
I jumped on beds,
Ran across chairs,
And crawled under tables.

I explored jungles,
Danced with princes,
And fought in battles.

I hid in closets
And the occasional fridge.
Even under cars.

I jumped off monkey bars,
Twirled around light poles,
And chased after birds.

I raced the wind,
Climbed trees,
And gathered candy.

And now
I walk through fields,
Go around fences,
And gather berries.

I trek through puddles,
Turn around in chairs,
And chase down a cup of tea.

I hide behind books
And under covers.
Often behind a desk.

I explore archives,
Dance in clubs,
And fight for more time.

I jump on trains,
Walk down the street,
And crawl through stores.

And still today,
I feel like a kid.
Laying in the darkness
Stars glimmer brightly
You hold me tight
This cold winters evening
Whispering in my ear
Saying how much you love me

I turn away
Pretending to sleep
Ashamed to face you
Wishing to be somewhere else
Anywhere else

But it’s not because of you
That I turn away

I’ve dreamed once, trusted once
Loved once but now I can’t
No matter how I try

I do try
But all I see is
My heart ripped in a million pieces
Thrown
Fluttering to the white crusted river of tears below

And now
Like an old photo in the sun
I’m fading
Fading from dreams, fading from trust
Fading from love…

Fading from you

No it’s not because of you
That I’m afraid to love

It’s because of him
He who I gave everything to
I gave my time, my mind, my trust
Shared my fears, my dreams, my thoughts…

My bed

No it’s because of him
That love has become
The thing I
Fear
The most
I’m fine, thanks…  

                                                      ­                                                                 ­                       
Is that what you truly mean?

Or do you mean
I’m tired…
I’m lonely…
I’m hurt…
Confused. Bewildered. Angered.
Disillusioned…
Skeptical…

Or maybe
I’m distressed…
I’m woeful…
I’m pathetic…
Lost. Vulnerable.
Infuriated…
Empty. Lifeless. Crushed. Tortured. Dejected. Offended. Afflicted.
Desolate. Desperate. Rejected. Heartbroken…
Tormented…
I’m scared…
I’m disgruntled…
Embarrassed…
Weak. Dreadful. Hungry. Aggravated.
Guilty… Shameful… Frustrated… Jealous… Horrified…
Overwhelmed…
Devastated…

Defeated…



Is fine ever what you truly mean?
Or is it a cover?
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