You Will Grow

You, with your hair tangled like wet grass before daybreak

Your nails cracked like city sidewalks

Legs threatening to fold like hands in prayer

You- unable to fathom a world beyond sixteen

Obsessed with the space you occupy

You, listing reasons you don’t belong

Or are weird

Or disliked

You say things probably better left unknown

Oversharing to make others feel at home

But are most often greeted with the door slammed in your face

How bittersweet that the flaw most often exploited

Comes directly from your desire to make people feel comfortable

You are composed of jokes

And insecurities

And nervous honesty

Made unique by your flaws and scars and open heart

In eighth grade you were supposed to get braces but you didn’t

So your hand became a curtain to hide your smile

That is the first defect you were made aware of

But the scrutiny of your peers will assure you

It isn’t the only one

I want to bring you into my hands and protect you,

Shield the dying spark in your eyes like the flame of a lighter on a windy day

You are at your most fragile with the weight of a thousand anchors tied to your spine

The ceiling you dream beneath is made of lead

Decorated with the words of those who tried to break you

They don’t understand

Why you think in black and white

Because you speak in vivid color

And often that gets lost in translation

So you replay every flawed affect in your voice as you walk away from a conversation

Walk the same roads in search of a new destination

Without knowing how short you will fall of something new

 

You are not defective

The lense you see yourself through is broken

You are not

For years you’ve imagined yourself a salmon with a torn fin

Your swim upstream Sisyphean

You are not the salmon

You are the roaring river eating at the slipping shore

Eroding stones and all else in your path

You say

Move or I will change you

Stay and I will shape you

The journey ahead of you is long and uneasy
But harsh winds will carry you places
A gentle breeze could never

For so long you have imagined yourself the captain of a sinking ship

Enemy of the rising tide

Until you drown, only a matter of time

But breathe in and I will assure you that you are still very much alive

You can not be killed because water doesn’t die

You are still the waves, as much as you are the captain

You were not put here to please anyone but yourself

The pages of your story cannot be turned by anyone else

And they cannot erase the words you’ve written

Whatever direction you are walking in is where you will go

You can only sink if you stop treading water

Do not let things outside of your control call you off your path

The moments you keep reliving belong in the past

The charred lumber from bridges burned is better left as ash

If I could mail a present to the past I would send my love

And a candle for every dark night you spent awake

But time doesn’t work that way

Every time I try to get through to you and tell you how much better things get

I fall short

But I know that if I’m here, you’re here

I know that the loss we faced, we faced together

As you grew into me

As the past became the present

We can say now that we did it

And that we’re stronger because of it

And although for a minute it didn’t seem like the world would keep spinning

Although your heart skipped

It did not stop

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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