Watching the way the sunlight creeps in between the closed, dark blue curtains of my new city apartment brings me back to the neighbourhood I grew up in.
It was a bad one, but there was good within it.
You just had to know where to look.
The day started with opening those dark blue curtains and letting the full sunlight pour in.
I was always amazed at how the sunlight found a way into my room past all the lush foliage that guarded our windows,
We could see out, but no one could see in.
We didn’t know our neighbours and everyone kept it that way,
Because if you weren’t careful you wouldn’t be here.
As a kid, there were those other kids who felt it necessary to assert their power,
Meaning one word with five letters: B-U-L-L-Y.
I didn’t want any trouble and kept my head down.
But one day I saw him with his crew,
Wearing his dirty baseball cap and ripped sneakers-an almost perfect reflection of how broken he was inside,
I felt bad for him,
From the other kids, fear wasn’t hiding those scars,
Each one a tally for how many times his father came home drunk.
Pop, was the bubblegum chewed and blown by his disgusting girlfriend,
Her loyal dogs by her side,
Anybody who messed with her,
Was made sure to never do so again by him.
She stood there, hips leaning to one side and legs, so long,
Legs, that she would regret not keeping closed.
It was he, the delinquent, she, the mean girl, and they, the most popular kids at school, who ruled, but that unofficial title doesn’t matter anymore.
Red, was the blood that dripped from the other boy’s face,
He was the epitome of what happens when you try to stand up for one of the nerds.
It’s too bad, he was handsome,
And it turned out, the nerd liked him back and they lived a good life,
She, a chemical engineer and they, leaving this neighbourhood and all its troubles Behind,
Until he left to serve this country.
A folded up flag being brought to her years after, she collapsing on the porch,
Realizing how beautiful his life was, then taking her’s.
Hot, was like the fire that burned that one night,
Flames licking the night sky,
And fire so bright that the stars seemed to not shine as much light.
I remember seeing that house before I slept,
And the kind elderly lady who had lost her husband years before.
Her grandkids never visited,
But I heard that one of them owed someone a lot of money,
It’s a shame what people will do with anger.
Looking back at this now, I was in the middle of it all.
I’m glad I got out of there.
Although there was hurt all around, that house radiated love.
Memories of meeting my younger siblings and family members I hadn’t known existed.
Memories of holiday celebrations and dinners,
Memories of playing games and joking around,
And just appreciating the warmth that protected us from the cold world outside.
Because if there’s one thing I learned from my childhood,
Was that life isn’t perfect,
And all you need to do to make it better, is to find the warmth within the cold.
Although in some places, like this tiny apartment, it’s just cold.