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Amber Waddy Aug 8
Worry doesn't get you dressed,
Or iron out your Sunday best,
But hope can help you stand the test,
It's love.

Envy doesn't pay the rent,
Or pity you when you resent,
But honour halts the dark descent,
It's love.

Anger doesn't make you friends,
Or aid you when you play pretend,
But trust will help you make amends,
It's love.

Sadness doesn't feed the soul,
Or care about the world you know,
But faith can stunt the heavy flow,
It's love.

Life is hard and not just yours,
We get bogged down with needs and chores,
But count your stars and thank the lord,
there's love.
Claire V May 17
Mirror, mirror on the wall
When will my reflection show
An ounce of pride before I fall
Into the depths I dare not go

Who's the barest of them all
Stripped to layers down below
Who am I inside the wall
Of secrets I have yet to know
emma May 3
i don't lie to lie,
i lie because i'm scared
i don't want to hurt the people i love
i want to protect them
and if that means hiding the truth,
i shall
i don't lie to lie

right there,
that's the ******* worst lie of them all
and you know it
Self reflecting skips not
A day without moving me
To revisit the works of
Mine fingers I bury in shame
With pride, seconds after my
Fragile mind gives
In to Intrusive thoughts
Repulsive unto my
Well being.
Like a fresh pie to the face
Or an annoyingly jovial companion,
You were there.

Hand held out my way,
Warmth tracing along the edge of your smile,
I was there.

Breaking for lunch at work,
Or enjoying a nightly drink with everyone,
We were there.



The unknown passing,
All alone in that early morn',
Looking around,
you were not there.

It was then that we,
That I knew.
It was always you.
But you would never know.

I never told you.
Now I never will.
Renie Simone Feb 11
I kept staring;
She stared in return.
When I blinked, she blinked right back --
delayed, but twice as hard;
the same, but different.
Stood slouched —
almost hunched over.
She wore the same outfit as I,
but it didn't seem to fit her the same.
I tucked my shirt into my trousers,
she did the same. It looked better on me
than it did her.
Her hair was tangled.
I could tell because it looked just like
mine used to. Hers was more voluptuous than
mine ever was. I could almost hear her speaking,
like telepathy. But her voice sounded different,
deeper, more pronounced --
I couldn't put a finger on where I recognized it.
She didn't say anything in particular;
it was as if she didn't say words at all.
The way she mumbled sounded different --
almost foreign.
It was soothing, almost refreshing to hear,
because somehow I understood her.
Her face was pointed like a soft mountain top.
She looked almost...
disappointed when I noticed. Nose fairly flat —
Mine had a small bump. Her lips were uneven,
showing gums when she faked a smile;
I never opened my mouth to grin, it was unbecoming.
Her forehead was long and wide,
big enough for two brains --
I bet she's smarter than I am.
I noticed she was tired — I was tired, too.
My eyes are blue. Hers were grey,
similar to the sky when it rained —
almost like it was waiting for a rainbow.
I lifted my hand to touch hers,
she did the same right after. I could feel
the warmth of her hand on mine. It felt as if
she was a long-lost sister, someone
I hadn't seen in a long time.
An instant connection.
I don't remember ever meeting her, but
it was like I knew everything about her.
We let go at the same time.
She became a stranger again.
Previewed in The Voices Project
Grace Feb 3
When I was zero
I hope Dad felt like a hero
Holding me between his fingertips and elbow  
I scream from the shallow depths of my premature lungs
Nothing could calm me except for my thumbs
He carried me to the crib Mom built in a freshly painted room
It was probably white, but I can only assume
He could feel my pulse through his skin as my chest billowed
Dad laid me down gently so my head rested delicately atop a light pink pillow

When I was three
I was sad to leave the table under the lemon tree
And say goodbye to my artwork
To be enrolled in preschool at Mom’s work
Where employees build satellites and rovers
In the kid’s room, refusing to be a pushover
I got in trouble on the train track carpet
My cheeks burned scarlet
And scraped my chin falling off the money bars
For a moment I saw beautiful stars
I sat at lunch with apple slices
A few miles away Steve Jobs builds electronic devices

When I was four
God added to us one more
She’ll grow up to be taller than me
Only by an inch
When she scared me I wouldn’t flinch
Some days it felt like were Cain and Abel
As we sat fuming at the coffee table
But since your first breath of air in the hospital
Our bond has been unbreakable

When I was five
I pulled on a crisp white polo
Never without the school logo
Over my tangled blond hair
Zipped up a blue plaid jumper
With a matching sweater
The first day of school
What a day to remember

When I was six
I could not do soccer tricks
Dad bought me my first ball
Us girls got to decide what team name we would be called
Running around on the field
Rambunctious energy revealed
Oranges at half-time and Gatorade for the thirsty
Every year, I got a new colored jersey
Dad always refereed, Mom always cheered
It wasn’t long until I changed sports career
Gymnastics, volleyball, swimming, cross country
I tried each one in turn
Non-stop mediocre

When I was seven
Singing was my primary personality expression
I joined my churches children’s choir
Belting with boys and girls as if my tongue were on fire
We stood center stage
A pastor prayed
“Dear Jesus,
We thank you for the way you have blessed us through our kids
Give us the strength to do whatever your hearts bids

When I was nine
I became aware of my spine
Mom signed me up for piano lessons
Learning music was a task for virtuous adolescents
On Tuesday’s I practiced with a smile
On Wednesday’s I thought it all vile
The teacher from Russia was intimidating, I admit
One day I stood on the stool and said “I quit”

When I was twelve
I didn’t know myself
Every day my body was changing
Every atom under my skin rearranging
Boys pointed and called me names
Girls laughed behind my back and played nasty games
I never understood why they call this school private
Everything I do is public knowledge in this climate
They call themselves Christians
But without CHRIST all I see are IANS
Immature Anxious Nefarious School-Kids

When I was seventeen
Wedged between two couples I sat between
I rode in a limo with friends to junior prom
Like a classic 80s rom-com
Dressed up to the nines
We took pictures in the sunshine
Never been asked on a real date
Probably why I’m independent and stay up too late

When I was eighteen
In my skin tight denim jeans
I started college in Montecito
Everyone had patagonia and that post-surf glow
A few years later the Royals moved in
Somewhere nextdoor lives Degeneres comma Ellen
But it’s okay because so does my best friend

When I was twenty
Almost no one at school was throwing confetti
I witnessed my first racially motivated student demonstration
After praising Jesus for our spiritual liberation
At school, on the news, in my town
Media making noise for brothers and sister Black and Brown
My sister and I made signs
Walked to the square ears open, eyes wide
Stood still
Pain, tears, anger that run in their veins
But hasn’t touched the surface of my pale frame
My blue eyes get red and swollen from time to time
But have not felt the weight of false accusation of crime
Of the multi-generational pain and censure
Their beautiful caramel brown irises have had to endure
I cannot begin to imagine
So I pray “Jesus, grant me compassion
Understanding and wisdom
Give me extra kindness, Holy Spirit help me spread the Kingdom”

Now I am almost twenty-two
These days the sky doesn’t seem quite as blue
Eyes numb to the dim overhead haze
Of the flickering light shadowing my days
It’s been long windy road to get here
Live loves to kick me in the rear
But I hold onto hope and don’t give up cheer
I shouldn’t cast my light from the mold of a pandemic year
Grace Jan 26
I wish I had the words to say to make it go away
Rinse it down the drain
Wash away in the rain
Float off with the clouds
I can see it now
You look in the mirror
But keep staring at the ground
The girl in the red dress
Oh God, who is she now?
Why is she not here when I need her most?
The one in the red dress
I need her ghost

Standing in the mirror
But staring at the ground
She’s still here
She is changed now

Standing in the mirror
Rip open the closet
There it is
Red so solid, so pure
Like ruby jewels
Won in a duel
by the treasure connoisseur

Red like rose

The dress
Pristine like the day she wore it

I wish I had the words to say to make it go away
Rain, wash it all away

Large dewy teardrops
Fall heavy
From the sky
Settle on the ground
I frown

You look in the mirror
But keep staring at the ground
You can see only yourself now
Why do you frown?

lift your head up
I am here
with you now

The girl in the red dress
The best of me
I must confess
Change is hard, but we are never stagnant. To freeze a moment in time, isn't that our dying wish?
Wakeful and aware of my feet against the floor,
Alive in a vast labyrinth of precious tomes,
their pages soft beneath my fingertips,
Their covers defensively misleading.

How beautiful, really, to be able to read them,
Be it a chapter, a page, or even a few lines.
Reading deep into precious texts
that don’t know they’re being read.

Unaware of the stories, written out in neurons, told through fluttered lashes,
And the twitch of a nose,
Pictures painted by the wide sweeping motions of searching irises,
blind to their own vibrant illustrations.

Each story searches for its conclusion
within the pages of another,
Trying to navigate itself through an index
That is not its own.

Perhaps someday I’ll find such beauty in my own weathered pages,
when my spine has split and my text has faded,
When I am a complete person built of indented paragraphs,
an entire soul typed out in times new roman.
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