when the worst thing to happen
happens at the beginning of a life instead of in the middle somewhere
or closer to the end; trust and curiosity never get the chance
to set-up, to root or roam free. instead, it is fear and apprehension that
implant and infiltrate the dirt below. before
we’re old enough to understand what’s happened our veins
have been swapped for live wires, our hearts
an invisible barbwire fence. blood becomes
a rushing high wattage bell, skin a silent whistle
even a rottweiler couldn’t hear. trust: the alert of danger
both real and not real rings loud enough to
disorient but not to deafen the screams coming
from inside the house. which is more real? what you see
or what you feel? either way you were real once
and you aren’t anymore and you know you exist
except you can’t remember how. disorient: with constant anticipation
comes a certain kind of life hell.
never not giving your attention, your time, your self
only always looking at or holding back your love, your rage;
forever braced for the impending impact
stuck wading for what’s already happened to happen again. life:

about this poem

this one is for all the adults out there who’s bodies aren’t yet aware that they have survived their childhoods. it’s for the people who don’t yet know that they can stop running, say ‘no’, rest. this is for the people who are trying still, to unburden themselves from the burdens of their parent’s choices and their family histories. or perhaps this is for those of us who didn’t experience just one singular traumatic event in childhood but rather endured the horror of persistent ongoing neglect, abuse & trauma (CPTSD). some of the prompts used to write this piece are: the word “alert” (chosen at random from the dictionary), repetition of words, and breaking rules. i’ve found in my writing (as in my life) the rules i struggle to break most are around ownership, identity and agency over my experiences. my lived experience in foster care or more directly stated, my lived experience with being a ward of the state for seven years before my adoption, bleed directly into this falsehood. it felt really good to write this poem, to own this truth about myself and absolutely terrifying to share it with my writing group last night. it is with their encouragement and support, with their thoughtful feedback and unwavering compassion that i share it here with you today. thanks for taking the time, xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: