From the Little Church Girl in Her Sunday Best

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I know I have been judged 
for not indulging in 
drugs or alcohol. 
People hear I don't 
and they laugh, laugh 
their heads off. 
They think I'm a prude, 
some little church girl 
in her Sunday best. 
I am not. 
I have done things 
that I am not proud of 
and I have regrets in this life. 
Not smoking and not drinking, 
however, 
are not among them. 
Just two years ago, 
my brain was injured, 
hit 
and bruised permanently. 
Brain cells were lost 
and there is a blackened spot 
that will forever remain 
upon my frontal lobe. 
People don't know that. 
At the time, 
I could not read nor write. 
I was left debilitated. 
I felt worthless 
and empty, 
as if I were left 
with a silent voice 
and unplugged speakers. 
I was a writer 
and my very ability 
to speak 
and to write my heart's desires 
was taken 
from me. 
After five months 
of pure turmoil, depression, and 
withdrawals 
from the beautiful craft, 
I made a vow to myself 
to never jeopardize such abilities 
again. 
I was left at seventeen 
having to teach myself how to read 
all over again 
as if I was seeing language 
for the very first time 
and while 
it was a beautiful renewal of love, 
it was the most difficult form 
of adversity 
I'd ever come to encounter. 

It's been two years since my injury 
and I know 
that in overcoming 
such a tragedy, 
this heart 
was made 
to pour its blood on paper. 
For that reason alone, 
I will not put it 
in any harm's way 
by mixing this blood 
with drugs or with alcohol. 
I will only mix it with 
ink 
and it will give me the greatest 
satisfaction, 
for those people 
- the ones that laugh my way - 
have never 
seen the beauty 
that words possess, 
nor the magic they conjure 
and while they may see me 
as the loser, 
it is them that suffer 
the ultimate loss.

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