Sacred (In the Ordinary)

Locations

It’s the end of summer, 2005
A little girl stands amidst a sea
of strangers, flowing around her,
unobstructed. A thousand voices
mutter around her tiny, ten year-old
form but her voice, no matter how small,
does not waver and does not quake.

“Home,” the girl says and
the word feels foreign,
leave a bitter taste in her mouth.
For the past four months “home” has been
a trailer in Huntsville, Texas. “Home” was
a big house with small people, a broken family
and a new school. The girl hides
the tears in her eyes. The meaning of a home,
the place of solace for all and a cocoon of comfort
is tainted and marred by parental conflict and
sibling strife.
The girl mourns the loss of her supposed haven.

This “home” is just the same, only this is an old,
familiar city. Her mother and father are at each other’s throats,
the older sisters and brother that raised the girl
are sick of staying in a shallow home
and they leave, out on the streets and with friends more than the household.
So the little girl grows up;
eleven, thirteen, fifteen—always too young, thinking too old;
too mature for her age and too naïve.

Fifth grade to sixth grade she is still that little girl in LAX,
outspoken and so alone
until a teacher hands her a book and
says “read; read and escape”. The girl picks up the book,
curious, and Shakespeare speaks to her in old English,
recounts the tale of two star-crossed lovers. In minutes
the girl is in a whole new world, watching these characters
come to life. The teacher introduces a grand concept
to this lonely, broken child: books are a reflection of life,
of humanity; even worlds apart they reflect common themes
and hard-learned life lessons. In a week the teacher
will tell the girl to write her own composition. The day will be remembered
for the rest of her life as the day she meets
her first love.

Seventh grade, eighth: the books begin to pile up
besides worn notebooks with frayed spines
and tattered pages. The pre-teen comes up with stories
that relax a part of her that she didn’t know needed to be calmed.
Her vocabulary strengthens; the stories gain length
but never lose their meaning. Ninth grade then tenth,
the teen finds others just like her: a little broken, a little hopeful
and so beautifully flawed. Despite a health problem with the girl’s heart
that’s diagnosed and misdiagnosed, she’s happy. The teen has support and
strength from her peers, and that’s what helps her fight the pain.
Something else inside of the teen clicks back into place.

The pile of books and drafts and poems grows.

Eleventh grade and, finally, senior year: the teen,
this young woman has found her place in the school,
has secured out a niche of her own. The school paper beckons
and welcomes the woman with open arms; faults, eccentricities
and all. The paper becomes a second nature, correcting other
budding writers’ work and evolving in her style, the young woman
brightens every day. It takes seven years for her to notice the change;
the biggest aspect of her life that’s been missing
and has finally been filled.

It started off with a paperback and a notebook,
a blank paper easel that shouts out unlimited,
infinite ideas; paper dreams and aspirations.
How, with a mighty pen, the young woman can
taint the gracious and save the villainous. It started
with demented, lucid creations borne of cogent psychosis,
a painting of something beautiful,
something desolate; an image of our darkest desires
as words drag us asunder,
as the sin-slick syllables curl around our forms.

It started with something new,
something bright like gleeful sunlight in the day;
warm, fragile wings the color of the wind
and sharp sounds like laughter tittering
with the groaning trees. It started with
getting lost in those other, impossible worlds;
with her eyes glued to dancing letters
and characters that came out of the pages.

It started with a little girl, contemplating what “home” was
and mourning her loss and ends
with that same girl behind a computer,
heart bleeding Times New Roman across the screen. 

It leads here, though, not "ends"
With that very same girl
turned woman with age and hardship
writing to escape, to feel;
To create and to help others,
maybe a little lost, a little broken, 
find that feeling of finally being whole,
of finally being home
Somewhere between the words I write
and the message they read

Comments

Welshman12

Escape the broken world--just don't leave it behind.  You've beautifully shown the good that writing, that reading, can do:  It can lift the soul above the broken world and show it glimpses of heaven.  I just hope that you don't mistake those glimpses for the real thing, like I did.  I read books and watch movies, and then I take those stories and write myself into them.  I choose to build relationships with those characters, which is fun, but in so doing I lost touch with my family and with God, who can actually promise me heaven.  I don't see any proof that you have done this, but I just want to make sure.  I don't want anyone else to experience the emptiness I have by abusing this gift of the written word. 

Miss Socrates

Thank you for your comment. I know that sometimes it is hard-- but my mind is firmly stuck in reality, and despite how beautiful the written word is I know that escapism is just for the moment, for a quick sense of peace when life seems overly tumultuous. Still, the written word has those lessons that we use in life so I believe I'm not really hiding in a fictional world of my own-- just learning from it. Again, thank you for the great feedback and advice

namjad

It's surprising how many of us have lived Matilda-like childhood. You've wonderfully executed your life's journey in this poem, in particular that you consistently wrote down your age for each growing experience. As the numbers get bigger the results are more explosive, it was great build-up. 

I especially love this line: heart bleeding Times New Roman across the screen.  

It was a good reference to technology, from writing in notebooks to writing on the pc. 

 

 

Miss Socrates

Thank you so much for your feedback! (I won't lie, I was a bit iffy about that line but in the end it just.. fit!)

Imani Sophia

I can totally relate to this poem. When I was in middle school, I would read to escape being bullied, escape the reality that I don't live in a great home, escaping to find something better. At the end of middle school and the beginning of high school I found writing and started to create my own worlds, I started writing my thoughts and ideas and feelings and it has helped me through almost everything. 

Your words are beautiful and you have an amazing story. Please keep on writing, I would love to hear more

Shoegirl14

Fantasitc story!... Thank you for sharing:)

doctor_desfor

I have struggled with this sort of written enigma myself, the contemplation of escaping from reality with the beauty of the scripted, the composed.

I appreciate this poem very much; it is wonderfully rendered and inescapably relatable. I can only hope that others will find solace in this same form of expression as you have, and as all of us here have found as well.

CharisseJo21

Wow, this is beautifully written <3

-Charisse

Nightpettle

This is beautiful in every way I have always had conflict at home with sisters both small and grown.

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