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Apr 17 · 30
A Poem to Myself
Dear Me,
I hope you’ve learned how to be content
I hope you’ve learned that making the biggest sandcastle
doesn’t require the largest shovel
but rather the patience to return again and again to the sea
I hope you’ve learned that stars appear brightest
when you want them the most
and the moon is not worth more than the stars
even if it is the one who illuminates the sky
I hope you’ve learned that missing someone only ever ends
until you see them again
and you will always have to be the one to put in the effort
and make the time
I hope you’ve learned to look in the mirror
without covering your eyes
I hope you realize that perfection is a fragment
of the imagination
and sometimes broken is okay
I hope you’ve learned to catch tears and write letters
with their ink
and I hope you know to laugh loudly and save the sound for lonely days
But above all, I hope you’ve learned that love is not a shadow
and will try to lift you up
if only you just reach out your hand
I rode a motorcycle through Salvador,
kicking up dirt like soccer players in favelas,
breezing past mangy donkeys chewing grass
          by the side of the road.
I came to a stop by a fruit stand
as ripe guarana stung my nose and old women
in brown aprons wrinkled their eyes.
A shower of dust,
a cloud of mosquitos,
the catcalls of bums on the streets,
a chorus of the Brazilian poor living under
sheet metal and a sky full of dreams.
A motorcycle does not stand out
          with its gleaming, sun-pierced chrome
but the white of my skin and new clothes
placed me outside of it all,
my ears tuned to Portuguese swears
          and the angry whistles of almost noon.
I caught a girl by her arm
and asked where the nearest hotel was.
She giggled and said-
          In the favelas
          you sleep with a pillow and, in your mind's eye,
          the bright lights of a city you'll never own.
I lived in Salvador for three years and though I never rode a motorcycle, I wrote this from the perspective of a tourist venturing through the favelas for the first time.
Jan 1 · 146
Spiderwebs
I build a spiderweb of
faces and get tangled
in the names
my mind is a library
of dusty shelves and one
visitor who lives
but never leaves
please don’t ask me
if I have your social security number too
I don’t and it’s not
very funny to me
to be locked in a cage
of everything
that the world forgets
I’m not stalking you
I am simply being observant
because sometimes if you stop talking
you can listen to the
world around you
I am the one who listens
in a loud and overbearing world
and this web of names
keeps spinning
obscuring it all
until you forget me
even faster than you forgot me
before
A poem written about my mind’s affinity for names, written on a post-it in a time of great procrastination.
Dec 2018 · 117
Bon Appétit
Madeline Thetard Dec 2018
I like to hand the world words on a silver platter
Sauté them with gusto and a shake of sugar
Feed them to strangers and watch their faces
To register any sign of delight or disgust

They commend me on my service
As I fill their wine glasses until they’re
Tipsy from the poetry
Savoring every sip and swallow
Like the linguist who speaks solely at midnight

But they try to catch me playful
And they try to throw me smiles
Unknowing that the poet only writes
Behind closed doors
In some nook or crevice there is a key
I threw away long ago
Right after I locked up my heart and soul
And took up a pen in my hand

They say to write what’s inside
But I’m sorry if I cannot read you a poem
While looking in your eyes
For there is far too much empathy
To make me feel safe

Maybe if the critics wrote me harsh reviews often
Maybe if I spilled the words onto my palms
And washed them all off with tears
I could let the world in
Instead of bussing tables shielded by
The windows of the soul

I like to hand the world words on a silver platter
But no one ever gets to see the face who makes them
Nov 2018 · 74
Winter's Thoughts
Madeline Thetard Nov 2018
A pure whiteness settles over the land
I take the first step into the clean infinity
Disruption of the beauty creates
disharmony within my mind
but the expanse of the snow beckons
with frosty fingers and the kiss
of long-forgotten warmth

I pull my coat closer around me
and snowflakes of the most
intricate details all know their place
amidst the frozen tears of clouds
I walk in circles and get to nowhere
as the snow consumes the path ahead
and the tracks I've left behind

If these wintry eaves can shield me
from the brashness of the snow
so be it
I set upon a patch of snow
I am covered in the pristine flurry
until I am almost gone
Madeline Thetard Sep 2018
Woodsmoke hair
eyes on fire
mosquito bites growing to a
quarter or a nickel

I wish, I wish
too many wishes caught in the hands
of witches
molded from a dream to a reality
I wish, I wish
where does this frivolous
wishing take me?

The flicker of the flame
started in the wood
and travelled through my veins
glowing embers with each breath
the wishing is for the weak
the doing is for the strong
I must be the witch
and shape what I need

Let this be how you remember me
woodsmoke hair
eyes on fire
I never gave up
I never gave up
I recently auditioned for the shows at my school and didn’t make it into either of them because of (in my opinion) very biased and selective choices. But I have to keep trying and getting better, I need to believe that I am good enough, and I will not give up.
Madeline Thetard Aug 2018
I used to shut my closet door
before closing my eyes each night
hoping that I was the only breathing being
in my room

I used to sleep facing the window
in case a monster came for me
I would rather watch myself fight
a losing battle than be surprised

I used to run up from the basement
with one arm behind me
and one arm in front
like a shield of limbs
protecting me always

I used to hide from monsters
and dragons and dark beings
with slippery scales and dripping fangs

I wonder what caused me to stop
being afraid of monsters
and start hiding from
humans clad in stealthy clothing
vying to steal my last breath
Jul 2018 · 398
One Puzzle Piece
Madeline Thetard Jul 2018
Sometimes it seems like life is a puzzle
and I am the piece that has
fallen under the bed

Too scared to call out
but not entirely discontent
to be alone

Out of the shadows is where everyone
will realize that I don’t fit anywhere
in the puzzle

So I make a one-piece puzzle
of my own
Jun 2018 · 350
Soup du Jour: Alphabet Soup
Madeline Thetard Jun 2018
I was once told that I shouldn’t be a poet
because words do not pay bills
and fame is like the lit end of a short
cigarette stub

Glows like an ember
gone in a flash

I was told that paragraphs do not really
build palaces but
a steady white-collar job could

My father always wanted me to be a coder
because he painted a portrait of me in twenty years
in high demand for my coding skills
like some new, ravenous product
to be crafted and shipped somewhere new

Poetry is a hobby
they said
Poetry isn’t a job
They say you are what you eat
but you can’t eat words
when you’re starving alone on the streets

But I am made of words
and yet they don’t see
that the pages of frantic scribbling
in the middle of the night
when inspiration hits
is the outcome of all of their doubts
a flower blooming from parched dirt

this is what pushes me to write well
and prove them wrong
Jun 2018 · 243
Perhaps A Poet
Madeline Thetard Jun 2018
Perhaps
one day
you will meet a poet
and wonder the root of the flowery words
you will hear them say
“obfuscate” and “soliloquy” and “cornucopia”
because they’re pretty and make for good rhymes

Perhaps you will become friends with a poet
and you will be locked in a prison
of ever-tightening words when the key is so close
forced to read poetry you don’t want to hear
but you will listen
because the poet needs to be heard

Perhaps you will fall for a poet
and they will trace cursive words on your back
they will listen to your problems
and build you a lifeboat of adjectives and
the whole world’s broken hearts
when you fall for a poet
your soul becomes a word search for them
to untangle, starting at the very end

Perhaps
one day
you will become the poet
and you will feel emotions in your soul
and when you can’t write them down
it takes all of your strength not to burst
you will look at a collection of words
and you will piece the broken ones together
to make something whole
inspiration will come to you at midnight
and you will not sleep until a pencil
is held firm in your hand
the good in the world will show itself
with brighter, crisper colors
and the bad will torment your thoughts
day and night

To us
life is one big poem
and the poet just keeps scrawling away
May 2018 · 323
Come Home
Madeline Thetard May 2018
when we were young
you used to laugh at me
when I cried at old videos
and cherished pictures of long ago times

you used to mock me for being a crybaby
at eleven years old because I realized
we were growing up too fast
I realized
that life is a timeline that you can’t reverse
and you laughed

but it’s okay
I don’t mind
I still cry at all of those old photos
when you used to love me
like a brother should
and we would play
until the sun couldn’t take it anymore

our time was a fraction of the universe
bottled up
plugged with a cork
smelled like waffle cones
and I wish you would remember
that we used to be best friends
until you slowly shifted away

I miss the one you used to be

I miss feeling like we would always last
I miss feeling like we were two kids
invincible
if only we had each other
but now it feels like we walk on a tightrope
and if I fell

would you be there to save me?

if I fell would you open your arms
and catch the sister that you used to know
don’t fall into their traps
don’t pretend to be something you’re not
would you still save me?

brother, there’s so much I wish I could say
but I’m afraid you won’t listen

please, take my hand
smile with the little boy wonder that you used
to have
do you hear that in the trees?

it is the sound of everything we used to be
calling us home
For Luka.
May 2018 · 172
Mama, Mama
Madeline Thetard May 2018
Mama, Mama
I am far from you but I pray you
don't forget me

Mama, Mama
they will shoot me if I wave
they will hurt you if you speak
they will tear everything from us
if we don't abide by their rules

Mama, Mama
I know that I am older now
but I am too young to be taken from you
who will braid my hair
who will hug me when I am scared

Mama, Mama
save me from across this wall
knock down these bricks
send your life through the penetrable spaces
in this abominable construction
meant to keep us apart

Mama, Mama
if I don't get to you soon

I don't know what I'll do

Mama, Mama
save me
for I am lost

save me across this wall
Inspired by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
May 2018 · 358
Untitled
Madeline Thetard May 2018
I didn't realize I was lonely
until you pointed out
that I was sitting all alone

and then you walked away
May 2018 · 180
Dandelion Wishes
Madeline Thetard May 2018
my brother made a wish on a dandelion
its white seeds blowing softly in the wind
the lazy air giving flowers piggy-back rides
the sun gazed down and grinned

my brother made a wish on a dandelion
and now he expects a new teddy bear
when he doesn't get one his lip starts to quiver
and he can't believe how life's unfair

my brother made a wish on a dandelion
it's hard to tell a toddler that sometimes
life doesn't give you everything you ask for
the universe is often late to consign

my brother won't stop making wishes on dandelions
if he tries hard enough maybe it'll come
lots of teddy bears that the universe is withholding
I guess wishing is better than sitting there glum
Oh, the innocent and often frustrating mind of a toddler.
May 2018 · 1.6k
Sweet Sixteen
Madeline Thetard May 2018
The first gun shot was before
lunch period had started

She was sitting in math class
wondering whether she would buy the burger
or the salad
with the three dollars in her pocket
She was doodling on
her math notebook
cartoon cats with flower wreaths

She was studious, never really liked math
had a tiny crush on the boy sitting next to her
and wondered if it would rain today

The first gun shot was before
lunch period had started

Screams erupted in the hallway
Head slammed lockers
as faculty asked students to clean
their wounds
as teachers asked students to tell their spouses
everything they never got to say

Kids hid in cabinets and under desks
covered their faces with backpacks
maybe their binders were more bulletproof
than their skulls

The girl clutched the hand of the boy next to her
and wondered why she could only touch him
right before she was about to die

Neither one thought they’d be staring down
the scope of a gun
looking into a madman’s soul before
lunch period started

As all of the children who were killed on that day
rested in their graves
calculus homework and English assignments
still written as reminders on the palms of their hands
bruised by the locker they hit on their way down

Nations weeped and families sobbed
many thought that their deaths might
be the anthem of change

But all their deaths sparked were
prayers and condolences
an “I’m sorry” and a “That really *****”
as the next madman loaded up his gun
two sorry days later

Sixteen is too young to die

The girl had never driven car
Never knew what it was like to be held
Never knew what it was like to be kissed
Never knew what it was like to be to be told
the world was everything she made it to be

No, the world she lived in was the place
where her peers had to live in fear
not because they didn’t do their homework
but because students might die today

In her grave her mouth was a tight line
childish cheeks and acne-scarred skin
the youth was lost in her eyes because
she lived in a world where her classmates’ blood
was splattered on the school’s linoleum floors

And no one cared enough to do
anything about it
Something must be done.
May 2018 · 212
Sea After the Storm
Madeline Thetard May 2018
shaking, shaking
my hands are earthquakes
as waves of terror run down my spine

I can't feel my limbs
they have all gone numb
from the shaking
my knees are the epicenter
my head is the focus

and I can't stop shaking

all of this fear
all of these what-ifs
all of the voices in my head
suppressed until now
they rupture and their screamy voices
echo in my ears

the anxiety is torturous
a tsunami forms
into waves of self-doubt
that come washing over me
pushing me down

but when I open my mouth
and the words flow out
to the sound of the music
I am okay

the shaking stops and on this stage
the world is watching
and I am unfolding
they don't know what goes on backstage
and they don't need to know

maybe this is the aftershock
in the blindingly bright lights
the fear dissipates
and I am floating in an ocean of calm

my whole life is a whirlpool of anxiety
the tsunami drags me under
the earthquake breaks my confidence
and when I am anxious
I am always shaking

but up there
on the stage
I am always steady
always calm

like the sea after a storm
Whenever I have to perform, I get so nervous and so anxious that I'm going to mess up, but when I actually get on stage, for some reason, everything dissolves and I am one with the music, one with the poetry, one with the words. It's the most amazing feeling.
Madeline Thetard May 2018
when I say period
you giggle
even when I talk about punctuation

when I say *******
you shift uncomfortably
like I’m spitting poison from my mouth

look at me
are you surprised that
I talk about these things sometimes

these things happen every day
and you refuse to comprehend
that they are a bigger part of our lives
than you realize

I was given two X chromosomes
not by choice
not because I wanted them
but because it happened that way

I was given a speech in fifth grade
about how I was going to feel like
I was dying
every month
and you sat there thinking
“gross”

sometimes I’m absent from school
because the pain takes my breath away
because I am being stabbed in the gut
with a knife of blazing fire
because I need to sit with a bucket by my side
just in case it all comes up
because I don’t want you to see me
walk through torture

I know you won’t understand

that to be a girl
is to be an actress
I don’t want to pretend that I’m always okay
but I have to
when people ask me what’s wrong
I have to say I’m not feeling well

if I really say what’s going on
you’ll shy away in fear
of all the things you don’t understand
of all the things they never told you
because you are not a girl

please don’t be insensitive
you will never know what it feels like
you will never have dots swim before your eyes
because your period hit hard this month
(it hits hard every month)

don’t be disgusted by the things
that go on in our bodies
we are not weak for suffering from the pain
this is what makes us female
and we are stronger than you know
May 2018 · 89
Deep Underground
Madeline Thetard May 2018
**** words forced them to places
deep underground
underneath the sunlight and the jewelry
underneath the heavy footsteps that kept on walking
that could crush
their fingers as they reached out for help

**** words shattered their mirrors
they were told only a monster would
be reflected and
they believed it
why was everyone so cruel if
nothing more than a demon was inside?
their stained glass bottles
half-filled with dreams
were broken at the necks
good aim and slingshots
armed with smooth stones
made the best weapons
they were unsuspecting and childish
but their intentions were absolutely wicked

**** words built up their castles of fear
far beneath the earthly surface
thrones of broken bones and hearts
and subjects of their own scars
no light could enter or escape
it was a vacuum of lost hope
if they hid from oppressors
maybe it never really happened
maybe torture wouldn’t come back
to haunt
**** words turned their beauty
into searching eyes
and eternal suspicions
a guessing game of
who will hurt me
who will try
who will break my bones or mind
or otherwise
**** words built a fortress
far beneath the wind and snow
a place where it was safe and warm
there was no beauty
but no hate
there was no radiance
but no fire
there was no goodness
but no ugliness
they felt nothing at all

so when the palace began to shake
and broken minds began to think
the towers crumbled
into mounds of ash
and they wondered if ashes
would be better than humans
it was a universe parallel
to the one above

the one with cold and warmth
dark and light
two sides to everything
this was a universe of fear
convoluted labyrinths
they walked for hours getting nowhere
but right back to the places they left
they fought in their minds
fought the anger and the hurt
fought the enemies with callused palms
until the war was too much in the brain
mental heaviness took a physical toll
and they fell to the ground, breathing hard

**** words began to melt
in the earth upstairs
with spring came a blossoming
of new beginnings and happiness
for a while hate was a thing of the past
but underneath
the shadows still lurked with fear
a lingering smell of suspicion
the long stretch of hours left waiting
for something, anything
with joy must come pain
but they were afraid of both
afraid that to laugh once more
would break their frail bodies
to cry would be remnants of another life
to sing and dance would
shoot them down
they were glass skeletons
not scary but broken and old
mementoes of an **** time
moving on would be a surrender
to moments in the past


**** words created an earth
where a whole was split in two
above the ground
life kept moving on
but underneath
underneath was a battlefield of
old bruises that time cannot heal
broken bottles littering the ground
they might have thought it looked
pretty like snow
if they had not known what
shattered hopes they held
**** words gently passed with the breeze
but to those of the underneath
they never left
those words nested in their souls
sang a haunting lullaby
a tar-and-feather trap stuck on repeat
in their minds
the words floated and bobbed
in their eyes
closing them only added to the infinite darkness

**** words became engraved
on their headstones
natural erosion could not wipe them away
deep in their graves
dug far beneath the ground
**** words cut scars
and painted sorrow on their ashen faces
those words never did leave
May 2018 · 233
Intergalactic Road Trip
Madeline Thetard May 2018
when I close my eyes
sometimes it feels like I’m
                        
                                      F­
                                A
                           L
                     L
                 I
          N
    G
sometimes I can’t
feel my feet
and when I close my eyes the world
e  v  a  p  o  r  a  t  e  s around me
voices decrescendo to a low buzz

the world is so chaotic
and it spins so quickly
it’s a miracle we haven’t all
flown off yet
since none of us are wearing seat belts
a buckle to the earth    
my feet on the ground
strapped in for safety
never taking chances
never taking risks
in fear of drifting off into space
long gone and forgotten

but when I close my eyes
and I fall upwards into a
navy blue expanse
with stars doing the limbo under nebulae
and guiding me
take a right past Pluto
go straight on Orion belt
make sure you stop at the North Star

the seat belt detaches
and I take a ride on
the nearest comet
while licking clouds off my fingers
and then I am

F
R
E
E
Just a poem written after a biology test today. Science really does inspire.
May 2018 · 210
Once Upon a Dream
Madeline Thetard May 2018
i had a dream about you
last night
we laughed and we talked
we were right there
starting again

you looked at me
and smiled
and you took my hand

i woke up at four this morning
because i was stressed
and i missed you
and i realized  
for the hundredth time
that i'll never see you again

goodbye, dream lover

i tell myself that i should get over you
even if we were nothing to begin with

i wonder if you've ever glanced in my direction
or if it was all but a dream
Based on a dream I had last night. I wrote this on a post-it note in the middle of French class when I had a burst of inspiration, so I'm sorry if it's not that great.
Apr 2018 · 20.3k
The Things I Do in A Day
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
3. Today I smiled at someone in the hall.
4. They didn't smile back.
5. Today I looked in the mirror to see if I was invisible.
6. Turns out I'm not invisible -- then why can't anyone see me?
7. Today I made a fake Instagram account under a trendy name from the 1960s to see whether I knew any people who had real Instagram accounts.
8. All of the accounts were private save for one.
9. Today I forced myself to be happy for a particular past crush who posted lots of pictures on Instagram with his new girlfriend. Hurrah.
10. Today I looked at everyone's smiling faces and wondered why I wasn't smiling with them.
11. Today I wondered why some people are complete idiots.
12. Today I wondered why my skin tone - white as milk - should make people believe that I can't handle spice, or make people believe that I am ******.
1. Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
13. Today I comforted someone who said she had no love life.
14. I didn't have the courage to tell her that I've never had a love life and probably never will.
15. Today I told someone I write poetry and they laughed at me.
16. Today I cried in front of a mirror while singing a made-up song that wasn't even sad.
17. Today I told people I was fine when I really was not.
5. Today I looked in the mirror to see if I was invisible.
18. I wish I was invisible.
19. If I were invisible maybe it wouldn't hurt so much 'cause I know I'm here but people refuse to see it.
20. Can I please just be invisible?
1. Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
Not in a fantastic mood right now.
Apr 2018 · 142
Please
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
Silky, pearl white petals float in the air
As spring infiltrates my sense of smell.
The deep green of the grass
As I sit weaving my fingers through the gentle strands
Is pretty close to perfect.
The sunset, so far above me and yet so close,
Displays its brilliant golden rays to all of those that can see and feel,
Each burst of light the equivalent
Of a valuable masterpiece.
The colors, each yellow, orange, and red,
Vividly dance across the backdrop of a rich pink sky.
Each factor of beauty and brightness
Lifts my mood and makes my insides flutter
As if a million butterflies are trapped,
Practically lifting me off of the ground.
A shiver runs down my spine,
Though not unpleasant.
The stars, though few during the sunset, blink,
Sending out a steady signal to those who are willing to listen.
I look up towards the paintings on the clouds above me,
And whisper just one word.
Please.
It’s simple.
It's the plead and cry for things wanted,
For things the heart seems to need,
Although one can never know when the line
Between wanting and needing
Is crossed.
Please.
It's a common word.
Polite and short.
It could be used more often,
And even though it does not get people everything they want,
It's still used.
Maybe those who utter this wish
Have something bigger to want,
Something larger to wish for.
Maybe those who say the word ‘please’
Feel the spark that ignites
A candlestick of hope,
Burning until another one is replaced.
Please.
The wish floats up like a dandelion’s seeds in the spring,
Blending itself into the beautifully hopeful sky above.
I wrote this one a while ago...
Apr 2018 · 193
Beneath Surfaces
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
look at her movements
isn’t she is beauty
isn’t she is grace
her motions are fluid and calm
her leaps are detached from gravity
look at her face
she is peace reincarnated
her heart she wears
on her sleeve
it seems
she dances for us
she dances in a surreal place
beyond our gazes
but as she pirouettes
with her back to the crowd
do not let your eyes
fall upon her pain
pretend you do not see
her feet
positioned in inhumanly positions
her toes may be cracked
and bleeding
look away from her pain
only see the elegance
she works so hard to attain
maybe she hides her true self
from the audience
maybe she doesn’t want
you to see underneath
so you don’t
you skim your eyes across
the surface
and don’t give her cries another
thought
it must be all part of the show
Yeah, another one about a dancer, but this one is more than a figurine. This one is real.
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
I am from astronomers,
charting foreign lands and new horizons.
From the rusty spades in the garage,
rarely used but never forgotten,
digging us up and planting us in new locations.
From the suitcases under my bed,
with ghosts of places traveled
and thrills of places to see.

I’m from pencil shavings and eraser marks,
the crinkle of written-on paper,
the unmistakable smell of a brand-new book.
I’m from the days of playing endlessly with my neighbors,
to homework at the marked-up kitchen table
and delectable, simmering food, different each night.

I’m from the music of my heart and the rhythm of my step,
from Beethoven’s symphonies resonating out of the violin
to singing Broadway in the shower.
I’m from the paths I have paved,
the friends I have made,
the times I spoke up and was proud.

I’m from good times spent with my family,
laughing and joking until too tired to carry on.
From French words spoken to me by my father,
an always insightful mother,
brothers that are always willing to play,
and a pug that I couldn’t do without.
I am from memories gathered and stored,
constantly dotting my mind
and creating a constellation of who I am.
I am from stardust held in the hands
of adventurers and opportunity-seekers,
building me a road to travel on
and look back at where I’m from.
Make no mistake, the original "Where I'm From" poem was written by George Ella Lyon, and my poem was based off of it. I do not claim to have this idea or the original poem. I love the imagery and the rawness of the original, and for an assignment at school last year, we were asked to write our own poem. Please, please, please write your own poem based off of George Ella Lyon's idea and send the link in the comments! I would love to read it!
Apr 2018 · 158
Summer.
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
In between school years,
where homework and classmates and
what everybody else seems to think is ‘in’
doesn’t matter.
In between binders and folders,
pens and pencils,
the pages of textbooks and composition books.
Summer.
The sweet smell of roses
blooming under the sun.
The trickle of sticky peach juice down your chin,
fibers getting stuck between your teeth,
but you don’t care because you’re reading a really good book,
and stopping to floss seems like too much work.
Ice cold water after a game of soccer,
the clinking of the ice cubes reminding you
of every burst of laughter following those missed goals.
Times spent at a park,
couples on benches,
kids chasing each other up and down the tickling grass.
Amusement parks too,
shrieks and screams filling your ears
as you laugh with friends
while smells of fried dough and sugar fill your nose.
Summer.
The rustling of pages in a filled notebook
as the wind blows your hair
and the sun making the words glow on the page.
Fireflies lighting the world,
one bug at a time,
their bottoms creating a spectacular sight
that surprises you each time
with how cool rear-ends can be.
The heat of midday fading into the cold-as-ice-cream chill of night,
where stars will find the night sky
and dew drops will speckle the ground,
beads of translucent gems that make your feet wet
as soon as you walk upon the earth.
Watching the moon change each night,
the clouds’ path of migration,
and you’re sitting there thinking,
legs crossed and eyes cast to the heavens,
that if summer could stay forever,
you’d let it.
Apr 2018 · 450
How to Say Goodbye
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
when the day comes to say
goodbye
you will practice in the mirror
forming vowels with your lips
and smiling in reassurance
you will look back into your reflected eyes
and you will see a sadness that forms
a nest of misery
built by birds of sorrow
and the reflection in the mirror
will not smile back

when the day comes to say
goodbye
you will go through the day
like it’s any average day
and you will be invincible and calm
because this state is the eye
of the hurricane
no one can stop you
no one can hurt you
except your own thoughts
brewing, churning, spinning
like the clouds that mist your eyes

when the day comes to say
goodbye
you will look down and shuffle your feet
you will say a million words
and they will all be the wrong ones
everything you practiced in your mirror
will be the epitome of your foolishness
and you will be ashamed


when the day comes to say
goodbye
you will laugh
because you won’t believe
it’s really happening
you will sigh
because a sensible part of your brain
believes it is
and you will not cry
because you will be strong
because we all have to be strong

when the day comes to say
goodbye
memories will choke your throat
and you will cough because they are
struggling to come out
you will sneeze because all of the dust
of things not worth remembering
will suddenly feel vital to your being
you will wring your hands
to rid them of the mistakes you made
you will look at the sky and pray to God
that this be easy

and when the day comes to say
goodbye
and all the words are done
and all the people gone
you will find a secluded corner of the universe
and you will stare
in disbelief as finally
the tears ***** your soul
the dam behind your eyelids will burst
and you will scream with sorrow
you will think the world will hear
but it won’t

you will cover your face and
scratch at your eyes
and your mind will bleed with all the things
you never said
all of the valuable truths
bottled up and sent across the ocean
now running down your cheeks

when the time comes to say
goodbye
you will forget that you are supposed
to be strong and
that’s okay
you will feel vulnerable
you will feel sorrowful
you will feel full of the weight of the world
the burden will never spread its wings
and fly off your shoulders

but it will lessen
and it will continue to lessen
when you turn around and someone says

hello
Apr 2018 · 159
The Tortoise and the Hare
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
The tortoise and the hare started at the
same starting line
The sun was bright overhead and the heat
hung in the air like a blanket,
slowly engulfing the racers until it was hard to breathe

The hare knew he would win
knew in his bones that he was faster and his limbs
structured for running

The starting shot fired and the tortoise was left
behind
everyone ran and no one looked back
and the tortoise realized that he was going
to lose

He thought he could make it
if he just believed
but sometimes trying is not enough

Sometimes skill wins out and the whole
world will laugh at you for trying
when it is the only thing they have against you

The hare won the race hours before the tortoise did
and he laughed and laughed
because the tortoise was meek and
constantly fell over his blocky feet

The tortoise heard the hare's laughs in his nightmares

Years passed
The hare's limbs
once young and strong
became brittle and hard with age
but the tortoise was still youthful
and bright

Upon the path of life they met
and the hare hardly recognized the tortoise

He had forgotten the incident years ago

But the tortoise never forgot
the hare gave him strength to keep fighting
because he knew that one day he would win
that race
that all it took was a little time
and a little effort

Because life is unfair
and people won't believe in you
and they will forget you
and won't think twice about their words
but their words will be carved into
your heart and your soul and your eyelids
so that you will be reminded by them
every time you close your eyes

They will be cruel and they will not care

But tortoise went to the race track by himself

The morning was bright and the air thick
he was older and wiser now but when he took
the step onto the race track
he knew the hare had been wrong all those years back

Maybe he was not the first one to cross
the finish line
and maybe he wasn't the champion racer

But he improved and he was proud of himself
and when he stepped across the finish line
the hare was waiting for him

He nodded once
his eyes apologetic
and they both went on their
way
Sorry, this is a long one, but someone at school said something to me and I was reminded of Aesop's "The Tortoise and the Hare." Writing really helps me get all this stuff out.
Apr 2018 · 242
To Fight Fire With Fire
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
a flair for flare
she was brilliant
luminescent
she painted sun when there were
shadows
she danced when they refused
she took their hands and
looked into their eyes
she melted hearts with the warmth of hers
they told her she was a fake
and she only smiled genuinely
they told her to stop playing games
and she mentioned how life was a game
they were the pieces
only we couldn’t see it
she laughed and wondered when the world
looked down
how could one seem so empty
broken promises and crossed fingers
behind their backs
as they shook on deals they knew
would only destroy her
she
thought humans were pure
thought humans could be true
during the right moments
that their hearts were good
but she was disappointed
they didn’t like her energy
didn’t like how she looked people in the eye
and told them to shut up
sometimes silence is best
they went to her door with fire
in their eyes
from miles away the blaze was unmistakable
the burning of good
they were content and she
was scared
she believed fire was warm
was a giver of heat and passion
she thought fire was beautiful
until it was the very thing
that destroyed her
Apr 2018 · 354
Wallflower
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
wallflower
background to the noises
of the rest of the world
because maybe they seem
a little more important
than that which I need to sing

wallflower
I raise my voice
try to speak
but what words convey
what’s building up inside?
a dam of cries cracked in half
create the barriers
I try to break through
struggling to be free

wallflower
because I’m unpopular
because I’m weird
because I’m advanced
because I write poetry
because I’m socially awkward
because all of these things
mesh into a sweet-sour dough
that leaves their breath bitter
as they breathe down my neck

but I see the things
they don’t
I see their shifting sides
kaleidoscopes of confessions
and changes to be someone
they’re not
I see the heights they will reach
to be perfect
to be ethereal
I know why they cry out in
pain at night
when the stars become blinding
and they wish they could be
as pure as the
moonlight

wallflower
why do you stay
on the sidelines of this
ever-changing game?
so attention can be
diverted
to others who drink it up
like butterfly nectar

but maybe things are
ever-changing too
and the places we return to
as the galaxies paint pictographs
on our bedsheets
can be true in the daylight as well
wallflowers too
can see themselves dancing
stepping into the sunlight
just for a moment
maybe one day us wallflowers
will become noticed
and truly have a time to shine
maybe one day
but for now I stand in quiet seclusion
seeing into others before they see me

wishing ‘pon a star from the outside
Apr 2018 · 88
City Tumbleweeds
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
city tumbleweeds
colorful wrappers
trash
that gets left behind
without a second glance

city tumbleweeds roll along
with the tick-ticking of time
as humans rush by
as the world spins faster
and faster
but
they only roll along
swishing a sound of
crinkled paper and loneliness

city tumbleweeds
remnants of
those passersby who didn’t
make the shot into the trash can
and didn’t bother picking it up
so the tumbleweeds were born
a rebirth out of human negligence

city tumbleweeds
when life gets tough and confusing
and you feel just like crying until
the very end of time
these city tumbleweeds that roll on past
are the one constant
that we can count on
so we only watch them pass by
One day at lunch, my friend pointed to a piece of trash and said, "That looks sort of like a tumbleweed." Thus, this poem was born and we've never been the same since. (Just kidding.) Thanks, Sydney.
Apr 2018 · 53
Running
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
a mother and her daughter are sitting
on a park bench

they are alone
the air thick with the stench of anticipation
and the humidity of desperation

the mother is weary and her skin
is streaked with blue from
secrets she cannot hide
her makeup is lacking
and she ran out of time to
apply the lotions and concealers
that make up her daily routine
of running from reality
and catering to the needs of the beast

she is not okay
tears ***** her eyes

the daughter is reading a novel
a thick-novel
a romance about a girl
and the boy who is everything she
is not
she sighs
this is the only novel she could take
books weigh you down when
you are running
from the weight of your
inner core
when you run from everything
you have to be to everything
you could be

without the beast towering over her
without the beast
without
without
without
the beast
the beast
the beast

the bus pulls up to the station
rain softly plinks against
the tin overhang

the mother and daughter
head toward a future
and they hope the beast
won't follow
I really wanted to write this one, even though this doesn't really relate to my life. If you or someone you know is going through a situation like this one, I'm so sorry and try your best to keep your chin up! Things get better, I promise. :)
Apr 2018 · 147
Lone Dancer
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
She pirouettes against the wall,
Stubs her toe as she falls,
And breaks.

Cracked porcelain hands and china face,
Rips her skirt of light blue lace,
And fades.

No one there to put her back,
No words can come because she lacks
The ability.

So there she lay in her pool of tears,
Faced with her deepest fears,
Forgotten.

No one arrives to take her home,
She is trapped in her lonely dome,
Terrified.

A picture fills her mind;
She dances with the moon behind,
Illuminating the empty space inside her.

She’s a lone dancer,
No one to twirl her around.
Her dreams of being fancier,
Falling to the ground.

She dances flawlessly,
Never stops once to see
If she’s perfect or not.

She glides through the ashes
Of her past mishaps and flashes
Of dreams once held.

But she’s a lone dancer,
With no burdens to hold.
And though she’s a prancer,
She’ll never get old.

So time stops for the china ballerina
And the curtain closes on her peaceful arena,
Even if she’s not done.

She becomes a whisper, a song on the wind,
The last time she laughed, the last time she grinned,
Are memories like the lone dancer she is.
Apr 2018 · 91
The Beauty of Knowledge
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
We build ourselves a fortress of books,
an empire of strengths and weaknesses,
of human qualities and wishes from dandelions
turned loose in the spring.
We create tower among tower of bridges,
foundations,
a roof over our heads and cement under our feet,
to preserve and protect the knowledge we try so hard to gain.
We construct it with calloused hands,
just to let the waves splash down,
dragging away the castle that means nothing to an endless sea
but life, death, and everything in between to us.
Nevertheless, we build it up again with
stronger walls and a harder core,
based on pure determination and an iron will,
and the comprehension of how these concepts can help
to prevail.

The opportunity of knowing,
the privilege of understanding,
stands just beyond the invisible window,
just out of reach.
But our arms are strained,
beads of sweat lining our foreheads,
because we are not content with being ignorant.
Knowledge of what is inside,
outside,
from foreign lands to uncharted territories
and the most common places that still stand as mysteries
infest our brains and do not stand to be pushed out.

The information that feeds our minds
like delicacies and homemade meals
comes from the observations of the people around us,
reading the drawn and joyous faces
like the books with worlds of words concealed,
waiting for us to unlock them with one of a set of keys.
Phrases and emotions catch
gusts of wind
that whistle through the air,
leaving seeds that blossom
into life-changing ideas and ground-breaking actions.
We dig them up and replant these seeds in our own pots
of hard-packed clay with cracks that somehow stay strong
despite all the caring and replanting.

Knowledge flits around like a young child’s pupils,
taking all possible sights in
and gifting rich soil in return
to plant ideas that can grow into something
beautiful.
Ignorance is what we find at the bottom of the soul,
buried under layers upon layers of memorized papers,
books,
faces and names we find along our paths.
To be ignorant may be bliss,
but to have knowledge is to be powerful,
though power is not all too important.
To have knowledge is to be free,
floating among clouds of everlasting strength,
to break from the heavy shackles that bind us to the earth.
To have knowledge is to be kind and reasonable,
the soft scolding voice of a mother who knows
what is right for her sons and her daughters.
To have knowledge is to transform the world
into a place where no boundaries limit us,
where we bounce from land to land,
only stopping to drink in more information
to change the world even more.

— The End —