I didn’t want to be late, but whoops. Here’s day thirty of Shadow of May. The question asked was: How do I listen? How do I speak?
I learned when young not to listen
To the other kids on the playground-
I was in second grade, aged just eight.
I was tongue-tied – I was born
With my tiny tongue fused to the bottom
Of my mouth, all my words were locked
On its tip, which I couldn’t lift.
They didn’t know, my parents,
The teachers, or classmates. I was slow
And special. They listened just enough
To know I wasn’t right in my words. I learned
I wasn’t right in my words,
And every day I felt betrayed by them
When they tumbled helplessly awkward
From my mouth. I had tried to explain myself
In all those uncertain and clumsy sounds
That I knew, but didn’t trust.
I became so aware of all the little sounds
I made and didn’t. Short tongued and short
Tempered, and ashamed I fought or ignored
Everyone who tried to laugh at or limit
They cut my tongue free.
Forced it upwards and disconnected me
From what I had become, but in the end,
Ultimately, I had already been taught I could only
Listen quietly to the people around me, and I
Seemed so wise in my silence, that by the time
I was a young adult I was asked often to give counsel,
To give my opinion, my secretly clumsy, distrustful Words,
And I, every time, feel deep anxiety blossoming,
Blooming under my tongue, waiting and fearing
I’d give it wrong.
Late, but not by much! I’m feeling slightly more alive than yesterday and so I’m taking this chance to catch up on the Shadow of May challenge. Yesterday, day twenty-seven, prompted: How do I feel about my accomplishments?
I don’t mean to brag, but
I’ve got hands on experience
With bad luck. I was born bad,
Unlucky, never ever stopped crying,
My mother swore to me, I never stopped
Until she put me down, shut the door, and
Turned off all the lights, the t.v, and the radio
In the house we never got to live long in.
I was a bad omen baby, she,
Bless her heart, she wouldn’t pick me up
It was my fortune, and I was
Bastardly fortunate, I guess, in some ways.
I learned to lose parts of myself quickly, and
Eventually put in the wounds left behind
More usable things, more unstable limbs.
A quick learner, my teachers would say.
I was such a quick learner, and maybe I was
At some time. I’ve got a few plaques with
My name on them shoved into my closet, behind
Some things I don’t remember ever owning.
Bad luck, I’ve got the experience, so
I think I know when I tell you how
It’s bad luck, to ever assume
Many apologies – I have been ill the past few days. Still going too, but at least I’m a little livelier than before. There’s probably going to be a number of mistakes and typos, but I can check those out later. The twenty-fifth Shadow of May question was: What three things do I most value?
‘A Light Haunting’
My house feels haunted, is haunted
By me. The soft whispering of my feet are
Still just as uncertain despite the two years
They’ve brushed against the concrete floors
That have supported my slippery shadow as I ghost
Between the front door, kitchen, bathroom,
My room – a path of half-existence taken daily.
Sometimes I see the sunlight drifting
Between the semi-closed blinds by the couch,
And sometimes there is food in the fridge
Waiting for when I remember that I’m alive again-
For no mater how tranquil I feel in my incompleteness
There is an existence outside of work, books, and sleep,
Which might require basic actions of me.
It’s a calm sort of crazy, sort of madness,
Haunting myself, that is, being there and yet gone.
For eighteen years I was trained to be quiet and light
On my toes, so much so that I learned to drift from room
To room. My mother began hanging up mirrors just
So she could catch me every now and then, but years later
I forgot how to stop and, I don’t know if I can – or want to.
Whoops! Looks like I spoke to soon last time I posted. Got hit working a tournament at work – work day changed to 7am until closing at around 12am. Only had to do it two days though, and yesterday I got off early – but then I fell asleep until just a few hours ago. Anyway, the twenty first Shadow of May question asked: How do I show hate?
My stepmother told me many things
About myself and my future, the ruin
I would be, and my father quietly watched
As I became less than his child, less human.
Just like my mother, I am just like my mother
She’d say, the woman who did such terrible things
The judge eventually broke down and gave me to my father.
Tired, I was so tired of living with all those expectations.
That was forever ago, and now I know that no one
Can hurt me like that again, I now bask in a soft hate
By telling them how well I am doing, I’m alive and I shun
Them often in this leisure life, but they find a poisoned bait-
And, Oh, How in their own hate they love to bite,
But now, how I have come to live out of pure spite.
I can’t regret it, no, I cannot regret my will to live-
I show my hate in gentle little moments I’m willing to give.
Here is yesterday’s Shadow of May! I’m still a little sick – but I’m going to try and keep on top of these. I at least want to get through all 31! Even if I’m a bit behind in some areas – the challenge asks some very interesting questions… Yesterday’s question was: How do I perceive pain?
‘All the Little Hurts’
I’ve grown to hate the question,
“Who hurt you?” as if all the little hurts,
Many little hurts, many little things
That make a person over time can be pointed
To some single person to blame it all on.
Pain has become a natural part of my life,
It’s all the little lost hopes, the forgotten dreams-
All which hurt and have made me who I am today.
It has never been just a single person,
Someone tangible that I can be protected from.
I love how it’s never been that simple-
I would never have got here if it was.
Didn’t get around to posting this yesterday due to yesterday’s big storm – so here it is now! The prompt was to take a concrete noun from our favorite poem and use it as a anchor to brainstorm a new one. I my favorite poem is Tennyson’s Lady of Shallot (I even have a tattoo based on one of the stanzas) and from it I took the noun ‘Lilies’
We used to grow tiger lilies in a tub
At the edge of our old, rotting porch.
As a child I thought they were the world,
I petted their slim petals where they curled.
My childhood seemed so lily white to me.
My childhood seemed steeped in immortally-
I thought with kindness of the life I would live.
I imagined with gentle promise what I could give.
And I thought it all would last forever
As we all tended to once do, and whenever
I can I stand outside, find some sort of lilies
Any, I remember as a child, were my Achilles –
A hero from my not so white, not so pure past.
Short-lived was my childhood, while it could last,
But I can still remember the fragrance, and that gentle
Not-so gentle, way I dreamed of becoming something monumental.