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  Mar 2015 Paralyzed traveler
To every single person
Who feels as though they are broken
Shattered, shards, scattered across
Corrupted pasts,
You will be okay.

I know there are scars deep within your soul,
Lacerated across your heart
And potentially upon your skin
I know there is regret, and blame,
Disappointment and shame
Burning fires within.
Let them go.

You are beautiful,
At 3 in the morning when you’re curled up
In your sheets, your pillow
Saturated in yesterdays regrets.

You have endured journeys
Others could never even fathom
You shall blaze trails others
Could never even imagine.

Pain does not define you,
Society shall not confine you.

Don’t you forget, lose sight of or regret
That just because you can’t see the stars
It doesn't mean they're not shining.
Random dates.
Random times.
Useless words.
Stupid rhymes.

It's not cool being
less than you can be
so I urge you--
urge you--
to be happy.

Because there was a man
who was a clown
and he danced for the children
as they were being lead
to the gas chamber.
And it was 1943.
And it was
**** Controlled Germany.

The clown wept,
each time the lever
was pulled
and when the children
became silent.

To stop crying,
he told himself
that existence
is just random dates
and random times.
There was no meaning
in reason
and no order
in lines.

All he could do
was all he did know,
and that was to give
before they'd go.
There was once a girl named Caroline. Caroline was very lonely, as she did not have a family, or any friends. Caroline read a lot, which made her feel less lonely, but books couldn't love her back.

One day, Caroline decided she would make friends. She went to school and tried to talk to everyone one who walked by her, but nobody talked to her. She raised her hand, but the teacher wouldn't call on her. She sat alone at lunch, but she was still happy there were tater tots.

When Caroline got home, she went to take a bath, as she was very *****. Before she could turn on the water, a small voice called up to her. "Please don't turn the water on," the voice said, "The water will wash me down the drain!" Caroline thought for a second, and then decided to get a closer look.

When Caroline got closer, she noticed a spider in her bathtub. The spider didn't look scary, like her teachers had always told her they were. This spider looked small and scared. She decided to pick up the spider, rather than wash it down the drain. The small spider began to talk to Caroline very fast.

"Hello, my name is Ivy. Thank you for saving me. I know you must be very scared, but I am not a bad spider. There are some very scary spiders out there, but you don't have to be scared of me." Caroline looked at the spider curiously, and asked why a spider would live in the bathtub. "Well, nobody usually bothers me here. You're the first person to talk to me". Because Caroline didn't have any friends, and because she wanted to help the spider, she asked if Ivy would like to be her friend, and live somewhere with less water. "That would be lovely!" cried Ivy.

Every day, Caroline would come home from school and talk to Ivy and read to her. Caroline came to love Ivy very much, as Ivy always made her smile and laugh, or help her with her homework.

One day, Caroline came home and Ivy wasn't in her normal spot. Caroline went searching for her, but could not find her. Soon, she decided to take a bath. Caroline turned on the water, and then heard a much louder voice than she heard the day she met Ivy. As she looked down she spotted Ivy, avoiding the water.

"How dare you, Caroline! You almost drown me! You should've known I was in the shower!" Caroline was confused. "I'm sorry! I looked for you, but I couldn’t find you, so I came to take a bath. I didn't know you were in the shower!" To that, Ivy responded, "Well, I guess I forgive you, but make sure that you don't do it again."

As weeks went by, Caroline noticed Ivy listened to her stories most of the time, but some days she only pretended to listen. Caroline Blamed herself, because she almost drowned Ivy. Caroline kept reading and telling Ivy about her day, even when she was only pretending to listen.

A few weeks later, Caroline came home to find Ivy missing again. She searched all over for her, even the bathroom where she found her last time, but Ivy was nowhere to be found. Caroline knew it was time for her bath, so she went to the other bathroom, just incase Ivy was in the first bathroom.

When Caroline turned on the water, it ran for a few minutes before she heard a long yell. It was Ivy. She tried to apologize, but Ivy just kept yelling. Caroline turned off the water and tried to pick Ivy up to help her, but Ivy bit Caroline, so Caroline threw her down in pain. "Ow!" said Caroline "You bit me! I didn't mean to hurt you! I didn’t know you were there. I'm sorry. I just wish you would stop sitting in the bathtub…"

With this, Ivy only became more angry. "I was in the bathroom first! Nobody bothered me in here until you came along! This is my space, but you keep ruining it by turning on the water!" Caroline didn't know what to do, so she just started to cry. "I'm sorry Ivy. I just wish you wouldn't sit in the bathtub, because the water may wash you away one day, and I would be very sad to lose you. I love you a lot, Ivy. I'm just scared you might get hurt."

Ivy grumbled and told Caroline to leave her alone, because she didn't want a friend who hurt her like Caroline did. Caroline became very sad, but the spot where Ivy bit her began to hurt a lot, so she had to find somebody to help her.

The next day at school, she showed her teachers where Ivy had bitten her, and they tried to help her, but they only put burn cream on her and told her to wash Ivy down the drain. Caroline loved Ivy, and she did not want her to be washed away, she just wanted her to stop sitting where the water could hurt her. The burn cream didn't help.

After a very long time, Ivy crawled into Caroline's room and told Caroline she was sorry. The spot where Ivy had bit Caroline hurt a lot now, but the teachers would only give her something that didn't help, and hand her a bucket of water. Caroline felt bad for Ivy, so she let her come back into her room.

For the next few days, all was well. But after a week, Ivy was missing again. Caroline found her in the bathroom, so she tried to pick her up, but Ivy just bit Caroline in the same spot again. Caroline threw Ivy down and ran to her bedroom, followed by Ivy's angry voice.

Once again, Caroline told her teachers about Ivy and how she had bitten her in the same spot as last time. The teachers told Caroline they couldn't do anything more than they already had, and they ran out of water. Caroline went home with a very big spider bite, and an even bigger frown on her face.

Caroline was very confused now, because while she loved Ivy very very much, Ivy seemed to only love hurting Caroline. Caroline didn't want to lose Ivy, because Ivy was her first and only friend, but the teachers kept telling her she needed to see a doctor about the spider bite, and she needed to find her own water to wash Ivy away.

Caroline could not go to the doctor right now, because Ivy assured her she was not poisonous, and that she was only imagining the bite being as bad as it was. Caroline tried to stay away from Ivy, but Ivy kept coming into her room and then getting angry and leaving again, but that hurt Caroline too.

After several weeks, Caroline's bite hurt more than it ever had, so she went to the doctor. The doctor told her that it was in fact a spider bite (even though Caroline already knew this), but that only time could heal it.

Caroline went home very sad that day. When she got home, Caroline decided to pack up all of her books and get a bath, no matter if Ivy was in there or not, because Caroline was very *****.

When Caroline turned on the water, Ivy began to yell very loud. Caroline didn't hear her this time though, because she was leaving in an hour and she had to get a bath, and nothing but that mattered. Ivy flowed down the drain with the rest of the ***** water, and Caroline was once again clean.

An hour later, Caroline got onto the bus with her books and smiled, because she was clean again.


A few years later, Caroline looked down at the small scar on her hand where she had been bitten a few years ago. It still hurt every so often, but she knew this was a different kind of pain. The bright lights of the city gleamed down on Caroline and she smiled, because no spider was too big for her in a big city.
I didn't learn about being beautiful from supermodels walking down the runway. I didn't learn about being beautiful from glamorous movie stars or musicians. I didn't even learn about being beautiful from the pretty girls at my school. No. I learned about beauty from my best friends and the freckles on their cheeks. I learned about beauty from the scars and imperfections they hated. I learned about beauty by watching them believe they aren’t.

I didn't learn about being intelligent in school. I didn't learn about being intelligent from some documentary I watched or book I read. I didn’t learn about being intelligent from studying day and night. No. I learned about being smart from my brother. I learned about being intelligent when I watched him stress for four years about college. I learned about being intelligent by helping him cram for tons of tests and quizzes and celebrating his success. I learned about being intelligent listening to his sobs when he received a full ride to his dream college.

I didn’t learn about being kind from some after-school special. I didn’t learn about being kind from watching my parents help being at the supermarket. I didn’t even learn about being kind from being treated so unkindly. No. I learned about being kind from my band director. I learned about being kind when I sat in her office with tears permanently stained on my cheeks and she just accepted my tears. I learned about being kind when she let me sleep on her shoulder for two hours on a bus. I learned about being kind when she gave me the coat off her back because I didn’t have one.

I didn’t learn about being courageous from daredevils on the news. I didn’t learn about being courageous from gutsy characters in books or on television. I didn’t learn about being courageous from teens who thought yelling at a teacher for no reason meant courage. No. I learned about being courageous from the people I saw stand up for themselves and for others no matter where it may be. I learned about being courageous from the people who risked their lives to save somebody they didn’t know. I learned about being courageous from the men and women who defended our country everyday, sometimes with nothing to show for it.

I've learned about beauty, intelligence, kindness, and courage throughout the years. From my best friends, my brother, band director, or perfect strangers. I didn’t learn about those things through mainstream ways that you find crammed down your throat.

You don't have to learn how to be you through people you don't know. Take a step back and look at those you do, because I'm sure it'll mean more to you when you start seeing those qualities in yourself.
Ah yes, the true story of me learning to find what I want to be in the people I love.
  Jan 2015 Paralyzed traveler
I am the thinnest slice of pizza
A warm beer
A scratched DVD
A lukewarm shower

A last resort

I'm what one settles for when all other options have been exhausted
And what is disposed of the moment something better presents itself
For Christmas
you received  
a record player

You played
your own vinyls
on repeat
for days

And maybe
that's when
you learned
what a record
was supposed to
sound like

I was a broken record
playing the same
gut-wrenching melody
over and over

So you took
me out of your
record player
and respectfully
threw me out
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