I relapsed, unimaginably so, into my
childhood dreams framing them
beside one another. Painstakingly I
paint, each emotion from memory in
an attempt to provide color to a greyscale that
slides ambiguously from light to shadow.
I linger, hesitant to pause, still shading the past as
moving on is a challenge that I do not willingly accept.
Free-form sticks figure on the wall
playfully smudged, during hide n’ seek,
camouflaging vain innocence touched
only through distilled light
allowed entry into the home by passing
silken tests that sway uniform to nothing,
but the seconds, humming aloud
breaking the echoes of childish breath
hastily hushed when driven out in anticipation
by the sight of my feet from their haven.
Grandfather explained his passing
delicately with whistled speech,
disregarding doctors notes and crafting
his own, revealing himself slowly
telling me that; snakes,
burrow beneath his hands
creating tunnels for veins
as their fangs sink into his knuckles
setting up a poison drip causing
monstrous creaks every time
he extends his hands, fingers reaching
for an antidote to cool that fire
inflaming his heart and eventually…
The privacy that protects youth
resulted in unabashed innocence
once alive, now cutting into my church as
each jagged edge matches the pace set by
parades of stiff funeral wear
proceeding down the center aisle
with me publicly in tow displaying
my profound discovery of lost innocence,
in an effort to see you for the last time.
I find that my profession is exhausted,
hoping that our tomorrows will be better than our today
as we spend our hours lesson planning.
Eventually breathing meaning into pale lifeless chalk
that elegantly colors our thoughts
in a manner less often described as art and rather,
as something done by those who cannot do themselves.
I have barely begun,
yet I too, am tired.
Tired of a strangers disrespect,
of open unintentional animosity, backed by pity
as I hear a freshly cleared throat utter the words,
“Are you sure you want to become a teacher?”
Every time I put my faith in a furnace,
their words are my trial by fire
galvanizing my iron-will
as I fortify my un-malleable resolve
to take a deep breath
before I exhaust myself,
to prove them wrong.
When I was young I would look down,
hiding inside of myself to avoid
looks from others as I was different,
I spoke in my own way
expressing myself inexhaustibly until I
used my entire vocabulary in a breath
but I was never heard
So I looked down.
For when I looked up I was ignored,
given looks from above that
chained my young mind aging me,
I was given words that were foreign to me but
made especially for those a little different,
and so I look down,
away from my parents
who never heard either,
away from my teachers who practiced passivity
but questioned mine.
So I looked down and saw the stairs
leading me up
away from the crowded ground
allowing me to look down,
see where I came from
forcing me to look up,
away from the sadness beneath and speak
my foreign unwanted words
until not only myself, but everyone could hear
so even if they cannot understand
they could feel the passion in my words
both crucifying and forgiving the world simultaneously.