Uplifting, uplifted said the woman to the young boy
And I thought her glass was filled higher than mine.
If I could fill my pockets with every sun shine and rainbow I've ever seen,
My seams would indeed be bursting
But instead I've stuffed them with shadows and all the ghosts I could find
Because carrying around the heavier baggage seems more interesting.
We are the martyrs of our own lives,
An orchestra of the tiniest violins that we constantly play
To convince ourselves our plights are worse than others.
The old man tells the young girl to keep her chin up,
Making me laugh at his forced encouragement
But still it keeps the girl smiling.
If I could close my eyes and remember all my good times,
My heart would explode from all the joy that I so easily forget
Because it's clouds I allow to stay over my head.
The drizzle seems somehow more comforting
Than ways that shine too much light on the beautiful things I try to hide,
My dark seems to be more inspiring than all my good,
Using all my tragedies as some ill fated muse.
I said to the kid it's just ranch and laughed at his confusion
But I decided not to explain my inside metaphor.
If I could count how many times I realized that so much of this doesn't matter,
I would be a better adjusted person
But we are the creators of our own misery
And the solution to our own worst selves.
I buried him three years ago
Into the ground he went.
And I'm fine
But our song came on today,
Crushing the thin facade of fine to pieces
Because I wasn't
And I'm not
But life goes on without him.
Three years have gone by
Still I sit here and cry just like it was yesterday
His spirit moved on
I get angry that he had to go
Though it is selfish and stupid
Because he couldn't have stayed
Even if his body hadn't broken so harshly.
Our song came on today
And I wasn't fine
Because all I could hear was his voice
And all I could see was my little girl self
Smiling on his lap
Laughing about the flowers he said he wouldn't cut for me,
Giggling about the phone calls he wouldn't make,
Realizing in that moment he will never call me on the phone again just like the song said.
I wish I could hear that song
And be fine.
That these triggers wouldn't crush me so
When otherwise I am perfectly fine.
I have accepted that I will miss him for the rest of my life
I have accepted that fact that I will never see him again
But the hole in my heart that he left
Still hasn't quite been able to be convinced.
Every year this day has come since.
Every year seems to get harder than the last
But my life goes on without him
And I will be fine if not a bit battered.
Maybe one day I'll be able to listen to this song
And not become an instant mess.
Maybe one day I'll actually be fine
But for now I'll just say the words
And pretend to believe them.
The line "I should have known" runs through my head
I should have known better to think it would be that easy
I'll just work a little harder and then life will work like magic,
Easy Peasy like my mother used to say
But I was made a fool
And now what to do with this pickle?
Do I know better next time? Do better next time?
This cruel, stupid circle..
I said to him that I was the meanest person in the world
And he just looked sideways at me,
Knowing I was full of shit.
I'm far too much of a pushover for all that.
I should have known better this time, right?
I should have known better when I could feel how fake the smiles they threw at me were
But I walked away too late
And I guess I didn't care to look at those sugar coated grimaces much more after that.
So I sit here now at this little desk.
I write these words knowing whatever you take away from it probably won't be what I meant at all,
Knowing the subject will be completely oblivious either way
But you know what?
If I don't write these words, that line will keep taunting me.
I'll be stuck in this game of self blame,
Blinded by their mistake and my good intentions
Because that's all I got going for me,
These dumb good intentions that spill out regardless.
I can't look at you and think anything but what your shoes might feel like
Even when I know you could care less how mine fit.
I should have known better because that's what this life is, one disappointment after another,
But I can't stand that statement,
Can't accept that way of thinking
Even if I know reality is full of sharp edges.
Shame on me for still thinking on the bright side of life.
Shame on me for still be disappointed when people let me down when I want nothing but the best for them.
Shame on me for still getting hurt when I know you will, in fact, hurt me.
I should know better.
Yeah, I guess I should.
She looked at me and told me to stop.
And she was right.
I get lost in my own sleeves, attempting to pull them further and further down
As I sheepishly cover my face so as to not be seen
But then I sit in front of you
And desperately wonder why I'm so invisible
Because I can't make up my mind whether or not I want to be that real.
Then these words start to form in my head.
Sometimes they make it to paper
While other times they get lost between my ears,
Losing the courage to put them on your bookshelf.
I feel these feelings coming back around,
The ones that come around every so often
When I don't know how to form them properly
But I want you to read my mind
And instantly know what I want you to say,
Knowing logically life doesn't work that way.
I wash my dishes and talk to my cats and listen to my music as my thoughts drift somewhere,
Swirling around me, questioning me why haven't I taken flight yet?
But I know I rarely touch the ground these days.
I know my head has been lost to dreams that line those clouds I stare up at every morning.
I know my heart was never really mine to begin with, not after all the times I broke it all on my own
Because I thought the ground wouldn't hurt so much.
The old woman said to me today as I washed the windows that I would just have to do it all over again.
I smiled at her and laughed to myself,
Knowing there has been so much in my life I have had to do over and over again,
Knowing that so many of the things in this life will inevitably be smudged over and over again
But again I will wipe and again I will try
Even if I end up getting swallowed up each time.
My sleeves stretch but my arms don't grow
And one day maybe I'll find a way out of my own self doubt.
Maybe one day I won't cover my smile.
And maybe one day when I sit at the table with you I won't be so afraid of all those things I wish you would say.
I won't be so afraid of all the words I wish I could share in return, the words that get stuck just past my elbows.
When I sit, I get lost in the follies that have become me,
Telling myself mistakes are to be made
And learned from.
That's what makes them important
But too often they don't leave my table.
They sit on the edge of that bed staring at me,
Idly talking about how I should have done this better
And mumbling on about these things that I cannot change about myself, about what is around me.
The phrase, "This is stupid," runs through my head too many times during my day,
Knowing I will continue the stupidity
Because I'm not quite sure I can fix this stupid
And laughing at how stupid even that statement is.
So, here I sit with these stupid mistakes
And headphones on to maybe drown out my own idiocies that won't get out of my way.
A picture of the cover of my first poetry book sits on that wall.
Between the ghost sitting on my bed
And the doodle of that girl sitting on that rock,
I can't seem to figure out how to quiet them.
One tells me to give up, hang up my hat,
I'll probably just get stuck in stupid for the rest of my life.
But that girl on that picture smiles even though I never draw a face on any of them
Like the creepy angel statues that my husband mocks
And yet to me every single one is just another version of me that I wish I could let go of, hold onto, sometimes burn to the ground...
But that girl with no face that sits on my wall
Tells me someday someone will pick up the light that I shine in the dark,
Blindly blinking like a faraway star.
I keep drawing her, hoping that she will come to life
But I know, the hope could just be another stupid,
Another stupid I just refuse to let go of.
So I sit, allow my hands to dance across this keyboard to find with you where I end up.
I allow them to speak all the things my lips won't say
Because I'm too afraid of hurting your feelings,
Of offending her, of disappointing myself,
Knowing that all the things I swallow
Don't really mean much to anyone else at the end of the day.
I take the inhibitions off these fingertips
And I allow them to breathe every stupid doubt
That plagues me,
Quieting the ghost at the edge of my bed now
And feeling the arms of the faceless girl wrap around me
Because I need to sit among my doubt to feel my light
Even if it's just another stupid thing my life has become.
Today will end and tomorrow will come.
I will get caught in another round of why,
Another web of maybe I should just stop,
Knowing I will only push myself harder,
Accepting the fact that no one really notices either way.
I will come back to this seat,
Stuck between these mumbles
And her faceless encouragement
To only have this conversation with myself all over again.
I go back and forth between these moments,
These precious, beautiful moments
Of absolute clarity, of perfectly placed chaos.
I can look in that mirror and see,
See every touch that caressed my face
Both gentle and harsh, both sweet and unkind.
Feel every word slapped across these rosy cheeks,
These rosy and aging cheeks
But I don't get so light headed by them any more.
Perhaps time has given me a gift,
A sweet resilience that has left me partially numb.
No longer terrified of the tears,
These lovely, lonely, life dripping tears.
I get up in the morning like I do every day,
These bright, intoxicating mornings
That sometimes fill me with doom, gloom,
Still somehow terrified of my own shadow
When it waves back at me from the wall.
I get lost in the abyss through out my day,
Getting swept away in thoughts that don't matter,
These morbid, unyielding of all my worst case scenarios,
Finding some kind comfort in my darkness,
Knowing my sun somehow always manages to come out.
I smile and and laugh, winking at the man who complimented my hair.
I fill up my bubble and save it for later
When I get caught in my own spider web
Of doubt, my seductive self doubt.
I close my eyes and imagine a cloud,
A calm, peaceful cloud that I doze off on,
Hiding in my runaway imagination,
These wings that don't exist but I feel too often.
I lock myself away and I see her in that mirror
With all the twitches I'd rather not mention
And I smile every time we meet,
That innocent, untouched version of me
Who I keep safe, who keeps me sane.
I can take the bitterness of the world
But there has always been a part of me that cannot.
And I get lost in these moments,
These versions of myself that I haven't quite figured out,
These brilliant pieces of every me I've ever been
That sometimes can't remember how to fit back together.
I sat deep in those waves,
Feeling all the loss, the hurt, the anger.
I allowed myself to sink low
Below the water,
To embrace all the negative that swarmed
And then I kicked my feet.
I swam to those shores,
Looking back at the doubt that tried to drown.
I saw him smiling at me,
Waving at me,
Reminding me that his arms were always ready,
How I have to let myself drown from time to time
To figure my way back out.
I said hello to my darkness,
The tiny whispers that plague me.
I let them speak, let them doubt.
I gave them their moment
And then I told them to shoo
Because I would not allow them to stay forever,
Just for a moment.
I would taste them
And spit them out
Like the wine I don't like to drink.
Even the darkest parts of us need to breathe
If only for a moment.
I thought about my father,
How he's been swept out of my life
And I wondered how much of him I still carry,
Knowing that I haven't quite let go yet,
Wondering if I ever will
But I know he's smiling at me,
Waving at me from those shore lines,
Shaking his head at me like he always did,
Never understanding why I'm so stubborn,
Making myself laugh, thinking,
"I learned it from you."
I laid in bed and thought of the most poetic words to string together last night.
I imagined how the ink would look against the paper,
The birth of these words that I let drift away
As my eyes faded into sleep.
I awoke this morning, unable to recall them
But I still felt every syllable.
My heart still beat with the periods that I didn't put down
And now I sit in front of this screen,
Hoping those words will find their way back
Knowing they won't.
Instead I will create something new
Crossing my fingers that I find the point
Of all those feelings that taunted me in the night.
She looked at me and I felt myself sink,
Triggered into self doubt that made no sense,
Inspired to do what I try not to anymore
But I knew I would run away.
I knew I would close up, shut you out, say those annoying words,
"I'm fine," knowing that I wasn't.
My hand hit the paper this morning,
Fingers flying across those lines
As all the things I can't tell you poured rapidly out of me
As I sat at my small desk, releasing your demons,
These demons that I pick up along my way
Because I feel every ounce of your darkness
Whether you mean to pass it along to me or not.
Sometimes I feel as if I'm drowning in my own empathy,
In my strange, unwanted need to be your martyr
Because in reality I don't, I can't, I won't
Though if you need me to fall on a sword
I would in a heartbeat,
Knowing I will always say those dumb words,
"Of course," when all I want is to do is sigh
And tell you to fight your own battles.
He came home, frustrated and angry,
Wishing again I could absorb all of his angst,
Knowing he wouldn't let me,
Feeling my heart sink because we can do better
Than where we are right now
And I know we will eventually.
I feel myself fall down, knowing I will pick myself up
Because I always do
Saying to myself the words I always whisper
When I think no one is listening,
"I am a rock," believing every time
That no matter what this life is mine to make
And in this life, my evolution is ongoing.
I sit and observe, watching their moves.
She sits, twirling her finger around her hair
And I notice her strap has fallen,
The way the gentleman sits behind her,
The way he stares at the bareness of her shoulder.
Sometimes there is a cattiness that swirls around my head
And I feel slightly guilty for wickedness
That sighs underneath my breath.
She is oblivious to his thoughts
Though the volume in his silence screams
At me from across the room
But I sit, watching how this silent film plays out
Because, for the moment, he is just a stare.
So many stares, looks, unspoken words fill the air.
I find myself the keeper of these observations,
Safely tucked into the back of my mind
And analyzed for further dissection
When I sit down to spill them all out here.
I want to fix her strap, to shoo him away
But I sit, always watching the room.
He smiles at me, looking up,
And I smile back,
Both retreating back into our own corners
While the girl with her bare shoulder is oblivious.
When I think back to all those times
When my mind said so much
While my lips spoke nothing
I realize my heart wins far more often than my head
Because I would rather be kind than to behave harshly.
Sometimes I question it is that more for me than you,
Knowing it doesn't matter much.
I bare my shoulders in other ways.
I know how tender my skin can be
And I know the stares ready to devour it just the same
But notes I take, building a wall of words
To keep it all out, the wickedness of these sighs.
I retreat back into headphones and observations,
Watching the silence that falls around me
And cataloging it for another day.
Sometimes there is humor in our tiny tragedies,
A sweet comfort in our moments in between
When we think no one is looking.
Sometimes I have no words to share.
I have these feelings, these swirling feelings
But I have no way to describe them
Though I know I must get them out of me.
I walked down that aisle last night,
Enraged at my current plot in life,
This song my father sang to me when I was young came on.
I walked down that aisle with beers in hand, felt the tears
Because I knew he was telling me I was all right
Even if all I wanted to do was sit in a corner and cry
Though if you asked I couldn't tell you why.
I like to tell myself that I am a rock, an island.
I am unbreakable, invincible, indestructible
But my stiff hip keeps me in check.
I get mad at the fact that I get angry.
I get annoyed that I hurt, that I get disappointed
And my agitation strikes in unhealthy ways
But you ask me what's wrong?
I'll never really tell you, just brush you off
Because sometimes I don't know why,
Don't know why it hurts or angers or disappoints.
The expectations I have for you, her, him, them
Are the same expectations I have for myself, always too high.
Sometimes I just don't have the words,
The right words to paint a picture.
Sometimes all I have these unexplainable feelings,
These tedious little tornadoes that make me feel chaotic.
I pick up this pen and I try to navigate,
Try to navigate my way through my maze
So I can understand my own madness,
Knowing that I'm not alone in this abyss.
I have images but no words.
I have a picture I want to draw
But my hands quite draw the lines right.
He asked me what I wanted and I laughed.
What do I want in this life?
I just want to find the right words, to draw a lovely picture,
To calm this unknown fire that burns,
The one that I can't explain,
The one that swirls and never quiets,
Understanding that these swirls inspire me to write these words, to draw that picture
But I don't know always how to speak them.
Sometimes I feel so much I shut down,
Knowing it's easier to feel nothing
Then try to explain what I feel staring back at me.
And sometimes I sit down at this table,
Staring at a screen,
Feeling all these feelings I can't describe,
Wanting nothing but to write them out but nothing comes,
Leaving me with a heavy heart, all feeling too overwhelming..
Sometimes I share too much.
At the end of the day, I'm just a girl who has been in love with writing her entire life. I am full of quirks, anxieties, fears, joys, laughter. And all I have wanted to do was give the world a smile.