Graduation

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 18:03 -- bmg128

Over thousands of moments and breaths lost to useless protest,

My throat continues to grow more raw, more strangled,

To the point my heart cannot carry even my deepest motivations into my words.

 

I am suffocated; deafened, beaten, bruised, from years of being silenced, walked over, trampled; To have the merest control over my very own life has become my wildest fantasy,

Residing within every layer of my soul.

 

My value of logic used to fuel the need in my fingertips to flip pages,

The buzz of my wit to remark, and the anxious thrum of eloquence within my bones -

My seventeenth year has marked a true devotion to finding that desire again;

Graduation from public school promises a new horizon,

But at every turn I attempt to make for my own heart, my mind,

The very things that make me my own self, I am, once again, beaten, choked, deliberately oppressed.

Those who have always promised to be the guiding light on my path have lost their glow;

They lost it years ago.

I sit on their rotten path, seething, wheezing, licking my own wounds, because we have it easy, Because they are always right,

Because momma knows best,

Because you’re a daddy’s girl,

Because, from atop white hills and cookie-cutter thrones, they fought tooth and nail for us, me, we.

Ruthless cuts and tax breaks when I can’t tell you how a mortgage works,

Because they can.

Dodged questions in favour of God and prayers, not initiative,

Because they can.

Death and decay labelled sin; but pennies in the pockets of child labourers and frackers,

Because they can.

Bled out, borrowed, baptised, blamed, barked, bludgeoned,

Because they can.

My nerves feed into more than passion for art;

They feed into a love for humanity, because we’ve lost it,

So they say.

I long for a place to talk over tea, not cellphones, because we’re being ripped apart,

So they say.

My partners want marriage, want flowers and rings and shining golden light, because it’s right - So they say.

Put food on the table.

Pay dues.

Respect your elders.

Boys will be boys.

Sugar and spice and everything nice.

I listened.

I listened with wide eyes and unruly curls and Junie B. Jones.

I listened with blood on my skin and tears down my shirt and words ripping from my throat.

I listened in the face of a divorce, a restraining order against my own father,

A diagnosis for the big three: depression, anxiety, and unpredictable PTSD -

I listened to my grades over health and self,

Over sweat and cold grief,

To putting my resumé before my heart and soul and desire to be.

I listened,

I listened,

I listened.

And I am exhausted.

Let me, before my last breath seeps through my lungs, a single, wretched word of myself:

Honesty.

 

Breaking through these doors,

Flipping a tassel across cardboard,

Shouting curses and feeling summer on freed skin

Enlightens new endearments, endangerments.

 

Heartfelt and holy we may be,

We are the future; bitt and cold by your falsehoods,

Make no mistake.

 

Tread lightly, tread lightly;

We are the torch-holders,

Jaded from dishonesty and lies and swears of poverty.

 

We learned to speak the truth.

We learned to fight our way through red tape.

We learned to see the light where there is none.

 

We learned to be honest.

 

This poem is about: 
My country

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