The Youth Uninhibited by Habits of Fear

It was a combination of a random encounter with an elderly couple over the weekend and a writing prompt from my poetry club that inspired this poem. Enjoy 🙂

 

Technically,
I’m a 22 year old girl, 5 months shy of her 23rd birthday.
Even though my friends say 23 is old, I can’t seem to forget the age that crippled Anne’s bones or the years flowing from Peter’s mouth during every love story.
Old wedding pictures.
Moving cities.
Quitting jobs for their son who was one of the first children to introduce “Autism” to the world.
Sometimes,
I feel old like them.
Like when my bones creak like naked winter trees.
I can feel myself knowing better than to walk outside without a coat on
Barefoot.
I know better because I’ve seen frost freeze fingers.
And I’ve stepped on glass enough to fear the scattered emotions that come with heartbreak or lust.
But somewhere,
There’s this youth inside me-
A youth that’s uninhibited by habits of fear so I don’t look before I cross the street,
And I don’t feel danger,
Or predict sadness.
My hands don’t sweat like a mother’s when her baby leaves for their first sleepover after her eldest never returned from theirs.
I’m fearless like a four year old jumping into a pile of wet leaves or attempting jumping jacks on ice.
The feet on my lungs don’t skip breaths.
I exhale innocence even though my thoughts fire with experience.
My body is a science made of atoms that talk and atoms that cry themselves to sleep.
I have weeping willows in my chest but I’ve taught them to tickle my core
But technically,
I’m just a 22 year old girl, 5 months shy of her 23rd birthday.

Advertisements

Hater

As terrible as this might sound, money makes me extremely happy.

I’ve spent years hating how I need money to get from one place to another. I hate how traveling empties my money filled gas tank and how putting healthy food in my stomach is costly.

I hate money.

Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

Today I received a check for 181 dollars. That’s more money than I’ve had in my bank account in a long time. The feeling I got when I saw those numbers astounded me.

First I double checked them a few times to make sure it was real. Then, a huge grin. It’s situations like that that make me second guess my hateful attitude towards money. I don’t hate money- I hate that the lifestyle I live requires it.

As soon as I saw those numbers I felt my stress levels lower, my overall mood got better, and I started envisioning vegetables on my dinner plate along with the usual rice or noodles I’ve been consuming for weeks. I pictured the gas light in my car turning off. I could almost feel my fingers wrapping around the cardboard handle of some hard cider (Tis the season after all…) 

I guess what I’m trying to say is I should stop being so hard on money. I mean, it’s not money’s fault I need it like I need chocolate once a month. It doesn’t mean I want it, but I do want to do fun things like travel and go out to eat with friends. In order to do those things it’s necessary to have money in my wallet.

With that being said…

Back to work I go.

Pre-framed Pictures

Image

I bought a couple of frames from the junk store down the street the other week. They were each 99 cents and in fairly good condition. Today I pulled out one of the pictures that came prepackaged in the wooden frame and I stared at it for a little while. From my observation came this poem:

So they weeped
The widows that willowed over in their skin that sank from all the years the wind blew wrinkles from their eye creases
They weren’t exactly sad,
Just feeling their years
They were never told their bark was worse than their bite
Because it was only at night that they howled at soft pillows made of clouds
Everyone knew it though
Everyone could see gravity getting the best of the leaves they left for families
Everyone saw their trunk cracking but no one said anything
No one had the audacity to treat the elderly with blunt honesty
And honestly,
The widows wouldn’t have listening anyways
They were too busy shading children from real life tragedies
They still understand what it means to be innocent
Sometimes it’s hard to know so much
They weep for their own sanity
Not because they plan to be miserable.
They know life is filled with more sun than that.

Unexpected crafting: something that happens often here

Somedays I find myself surrounded by scissors and scrap paper, paints and canvas, fingernails colored from the underside. It’s days like those that I feel like I was thrown into a crafting tornado. I was picked up unwillingly by creativity and had to create in order to survive. It’s days like those that I can breathe easy after sitting still, releasing a heavy sigh of relief, like I had just gotten everything out of me.

I write in my journal almost daily but lately words haven’t been doing anything justice. I can’t seem to pinpoint what I want to say but I know what I feel and I know what I see. I make things when I don’t want to be so stressed anymore. Too much input and not enough output is never a good thing.

Today, after a poetry meeting at my apartment, one of my friends stayed longer. We melted records in the oven and formed them into black flowers encoded by songs cheap enough to now sell at the antique store for a dollar. Then she grabbed the chalk board, I grabbed some paper and started to cut away.

Earlier in the day I had found some pressed flowers in the bottom on my scrapbook bin. I started to lay them out but had to hurry of to class so I returned home to a half finished project. Hanging out with Ariel gave me an excuse to finish it. 

I ended up making something for my girlfriend with a quote I stole from her Tumblr (Izy, if you’re reading this…yes, I was stalking you. No, I don’t feel sorry about it :P). This is when you cue the “aww” and “how sweeet” sarcastic comments. I wouldn’t call myself a romantic person but I am pretty crafty and I love to share my creations. After my project was in a frame I looked at it from a distance. I was reminded of something. Or somebody, rather.

I remembered being a kid and receiving pressed flowers wrapped in a homemade birthday card from my great aunt Janet. I vaguely remember being at her house and picking flowers in her back yard. What I know now is that I was helping her create her crafts. Back then I just thought it was neat. A while ago I was going through my closet and found a few of her cards. They are the only ones I ever held on to longer than my birthday week. 

In seventh grade I had to write a paper about my hero. I wrote about her. I’m not entirely sure why. Not because she doesn’t deserve that title, but because I was in Michigan. She was in California and I saw her once a year for maybe a few years in a row. I didn’t really know her fully. I guess even then I had a sense for people. I could hear the kindness in her voice and see the glistening in her eyes when she had conversations with the kids. I can still see her diving into Pine Mountain Lake with all of the cousins wearing her swim cap. She was youthful even with her many years of fighting Cancer.

I remember, a few years back, sitting in my front yard watching my dog lay in a bed of flowers and thinking to myself, “I wish I could send a picture of this to Aunt Janet.” That was a few years after she passed. I didn’t make it to her funeral. I heard it was as beautiful as a funeral could be. It was a luscious mix of love and adoration for a women who was respected by many.

It’s days like today that I wish she was here longer. I want to know more of her stories. I want to sit down and press flowers with her and make homemade birthday cards. As distant as we were, somedays I feel her. Like when I find myself surrounded by crusty, dried up flowers and scrapbook paper that’s spread across my living room floor. 

Image