OKAY

Things are a-changing;
It’s time to grow up . . .
But what if I don’t want to?
What if I’m not ready?
They’re pushing me out of the nest
Forcing me to spread my wings
I’m crying out, resisting,
And now I’m falling.
My life flashes before my eyes;
It’s short
Because I haven’t lived long enough.
I stretch out my wings;
It stings,
It hurts.
I wish I didn’t have to
But I do.
And before I know it,
I’m flying.
I crash into a few branches,
Hit a few bugs,
But I’ve got the jist of it.
And I have a friend
Who will guide me along
With infallible directions.

So I’m okay–
I’m okay.

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GRANTED

What would the mother tell her daughter

If she knew she wouldn’t make it home

That night?

What would the husband say to his wife

If he knew he’d never come back

Across the sea?

What would the teenager tell his brother

If he knew they’d never come

Face to face again?

What would you tell me

If you knew the next time you saw me

I’d be in a wooden box, surrounded by flowers?

Everyone acts like they’ll be around tomorrow.

But the funny thing about life is:

We were never granted we’d survive yesterday;

God didn’t promise we’d get through today;

And who knows if you’ll wake up tomorrow.

Amanda

CHANGE

I turned the doorknob;
Took a breath;
The door opened.
Memories swooshed by.
Some hugged me;
Some pinched me;
Some grabbed me ’round the neck.
Everything reminded me of
Something.
The musty smells percolated
In the air–
They smelled of bonds, of chains, of work.
Everything felt
Grimy,
Left traces of tawny color
Across my fingers.
I remembered the last time I was here.
I may have been shorter
(Not by much).
I was more innocent–
Believed there was good in everyone;
Saw the best in places where there was none.
Now I’ve
Changed.
I’m slightly broken,
Slightly bruised.
I’m not innocent.
I see more bad than good.
The childish optimism has been doused
In the water of
Reality.

But
As I see the dust in the corner
Where there was once a Christmas tree
And paint splatters in the
Shadows of my little brother’s footsteps,
I think of how I’ve also changed
For good.
Because I left this tin can behind
I could scrape up the ashes of my childhood,
Continue in what would’ve been
Had I never stepped foot in this place.
I met the person
That changed my life.
Like dominoes
Their presence changed me forever.
They softened my edges,
Gave me confidence
In the face of those
Who didn’t and never would believe in me.
They never gave up on me,
Always thought I could do it.

Their eyes shone with the optimism
I had lost
So long ago.

And I believed
Again.

I believed people could be good.
I’d thought I could never trust again;
I’d almost locked myself away,
Gave up on humanity.

But that person brought me back.

Unlocked my coffin,
Made the sun shine.
They opened the blinds
When I’d nearly
Shut them fast.

But what will I do
If they shut them again?

Amanda

SONG

The wind whipped my hair.

The car flew down a hill;

I closed my eyes.

The driver flipped the radio on:

It was a SONG–

A song my mom wouldn’t approve of.

I wriggled in my seat,

The teenagers giggled.

“What, you don’t like it?”

I shook my head.

Of course I liked it.

It spoke to my heart.

It spiked through my blood

Like a beautiful poison

Made just for me.

The notes and rhythm moved my limbs

In a way nothing else ever had.

I was one with the music.

“Yes,” I replied.

“I like it.”

And I lost a bit of myself

That day.

Years later

A car pulls into the driveway.

I climb in

And that SONG

Is playing again.

I’ve changed so much.

I no longer feel guilty

Tapping my foot to the beat,

Convulsing in my seat,

Mouthing the words.

They speak to me

Like no other words can.

The music is a language,

My language,

A language I always knew

I would know someday.

And I can’t help but think

How different I am now

And wonder

If it’s good

Or if it’s bad.

Amanda

GILDED

We’re just some gilded butterflies
Holding hands and hugging lies
The things we build our life upon
Are here one day, the next it’s gone.
We both pretend all is okay
When really life has gone astray
We keep our silly act going
We know just what we’re really sowing
And yet continue on this road
And carry this old heavy load
We won’t admit what we now feel
We’re ‘fraid to know that it’s all real.
Instead we calmly pass each hour
E’en though it takes all of our power
To hold convulsing hearts in chest
We never get much-needed rest.
Someday our hearts will spill their guts
And fix each other’s throbbing cuts
And we’ll look back on years before
And wonder what on earth they’re for.

SCARS

We’ve all got scars

Miles deep;

Secrets that

We all keep.

We are stars

In the sky

Falling down

From up high.

All the brave

Hide their wounds,

Never make any sounds

But quietly slave

To their grief;

Slowly drown

In their belief.

We walk around

And just see men

But inside there’s way

Much more to them.

We just see

The shell outside

But there’s much more

That they can hide.

They’ve been through wars

They cannot share;

Believed a lie

They couldn’t dare;

Dreamed of peace

But come out short;

Almost died,

But came back to port.

Amanda

FIGHT

I’m not gonna fight no more

Just tell the boss, I quit, make war.

I’ve fought too hard for things like you

And I don’t know what I should do.

I’ve pushed my boat against the stream

When you’re not even on my team.

I don’t know why I’ve tried so hard

Now thanks to you I’m all but scarred.

So there’s my oar, I’ve dropped it there,

And now I’ll see if you do care.

But I’m not waiting ’round for you

I’ve got my life and stuff to do.

So here I go, zip down the creek,

And you no longer are my peak.

There goes my oar, I feel so free

Now that I can breathe finally.

I’ll fight, all right, for things I love.

But not for you, ’cause you won’t move.

So what, I’m gone, you do not mind.

You can’t see what you clearly find.

No tears I’ll shed on your behalf;

I’m moving forward and I see path.

If you want me you make the choice–

You never even heard my voice.

Amanda