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the truth about growing up
1. It's easier when you don't think.
1. It starts early,
on a cloudy day when you recall
the 'childhood memories' of
two summers ago,
that's when you start your backslide into
2. On the bright side
you won't notice this until you're
good and ripe in age,
so maybe it doesn't matter
3. That tightness in your chest?
The feeling that you're not ready
to take on the rest of your life; it
4. It stews in the pit of your stomach
makes you doubt,
but there will be days when you look back
on the mountains you climbed -
the raging rivers you crossed -
and you'll have a sneaking suspicion you were
more prepared than you thought.
5. There's nothing like your own bed.
6. Laundry will never smell right
without mom's sweat and tears.
But you still have to separate lights from darks,
keep the zippers pulled tight
and the buttons unhooked.
7. There is comfort in your parents' presence.
8. Things change
the future gnaws and rips
Stranger's funeralUnder the clouds
Under the rain
Staring at the coffin
At a stranger's funeral
We're all alone
Feeling the storm
But not the pain
For he's but a stranger
And the graves around us
Are just there
Keeping us company
During this empty moment
LullabyHush, my baby,
Be still, don't cry.
Lay with me
A little while.
Close your eyes,
Slow your breath.
Hear your heart
Inside your chest?
Your heart is strong,
It guides you well.
Be sure to listen
To what it tells.
I hear him now,
Outside the room.
It won't be long,
He'll find us soon.
Now close your eyes,
Slow your breath,
And rest your head
Upon my chest.
CarolineYou loved the fire
of rogues -
imperfect men who shot up
the endings of the day
and drank down
too much beauty.
And like one of them,
you bellied with rebellion,
felt his tense seed
toil where women
and craved his notoriety.
Poor girl -
his verses won the day
and the call of words
was too fickle a lover
for any constant star.
Don't blame yourself -
are more attractive
and all poets are
things to tell you before i leave for collegeto mrs hatcher:
i promise that one day i will write that poem you asked me for
(the only thing you ever asked me for)
and i will finally tell you that you deserve
so much more.
to mr. walker:
i promise that i will not pity you.
i promise that i will not envy you.
i promise that you will always be part of my forget-me-nots and marigolds.
i promise to always be grateful.
i promise to be careful.
i promise to be crazy.
i promise that i will remember what it feels like to be needed
and what it feels like to let someone who needs you down.
i promise that i will never resent you for asking for help
and that i will always be there when you do.
i promise that even sixty years from now,
i will not be surprised to find a letter from you in my mailbox.
i promise to always remember what it felt like to be young and crazy with you,
how scared and lonely we were.
i will remember that we both survived it,
and that we'll survive this, too.
AliveA ray of hope shines during the
Long restless hours
I keep enduring the task of
Vanquishing the darkness with the
Energy from the depths of my soul
To the Boy Who Likes PoetryHe was a maze of metaphors
but she didn't mind
getting lost in him
raising a warrior never was an easy jobi.
when i was a child i would
sit on the porch in the rocking chair and watch
the sky fall and the ground flood -
safe on my wooden throne, i'd call out
amid the thunder that
it would never pull me to the sky, away from
the home i'd always known; when the storm
would cease i'd stand triumphant
over fallen soldiers, lying
like stained glass and shimmering, rippling --
when i was older
i stood in kitchen and watched you
bake, fingers drumming to the beat of a
war-drum you never could hear -
and you'd tell me stories of sleeping beauties
while i read about the knights
who risked their lives, got angry at the girl --
you taught me how to be
a lioness when you realized this girl would
never be a queen. i was made to rule, but not in
robes, made to claw my way
out instead of sit and watch the fight -
my throat ached to sing
a shout of victory, my skin itched to dance
in a triumphant haze as charcoal painted
the night alive --
and now when thunder shakes
the ground i count its be
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