#Write31Days – Day 12

1/12/18 – Five Minute Friday Free Write

I wish my brain would stop
talking for a minute
so I could get a word in

Maybe I’d say something like,
It’s okay if you made a mistake today,
you’re only human,
or,
You’re enough even if you aren’t perfect
or,
Please don’t worry about tomorrow
today has fresh air and flowers and sunlight and
they’re all trying to smile on you
if you’d only stop to notice

I’d say such sweet things to myself
if my brain would let me

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#Write31Days – Day 8

1/8/2018 – “Muddle”

I haven’t been in my right mind in a
couple of days
My mind is in a muddle and
I can’t keep my thoughts straight
It’s a merry-go-round in here
of must-dos and should-haves
And I’m on the outside getting dizzy
trying to keep my eyes on one thing

Somehow my mental illness
followed me 10 hours to Virginia
It must have been an exhausting trip,
but no matter
That anxiety was up at dawn
ready for an adventure

And I’m just along for the ride
I have no say in all the ways
my brain tells me to panic
I’ve lost track of all the times I
said sorry for messing things up today
See, the chaos never quits but
there’s clarity in one thing:
I must have failed and
muddled up something

Author’s Note: Man, muddle is a hard word to use. Pair that with the fact that I actually did have a very bad day mental health-wise, it was hard to write anything today. This poem isn’t good by any means, but its proof that I’m pushing through even on the hard days. And I’m proud of that.

#Write31Days – Day 7

1/7/2018 – “You”

I wrote several poems to You
back in 2007
Seems fitting that 10 years later
I’d pop in to say hello

How have you been?
Still lying to all of your friends?
Still tricking girls into loving You
and then disappearing on them?

You really gave Houdini
a run for his money
Your disappearing acts at least
always had me buying another ticket

The older I got the more I realized
every bit of it was fiction
You’re a story-teller, Aaron
I should be able to forgive that

You just couldn’t help spinning stories
I understand the appeal–
spinning stories is how I got through my teenage years
Stories that you really loved me
or our song wasn’t one you played
for every naïve 14-year-old who’d listen

You
You had me
and I promised that last poem
was the final one for me

I guess breaking promises
is another thing we have in common

Author’s Note: I really did write several poems titled “You” for this person in my teenage years, so it seemed appropriate to go back to that theme. I know it makes it less relatable for readers, but hopefully you all enjoyed it nonetheless.

#Write31Days – Day 6

1/6/18 – “Silence”

There used to be nothing but silence
between us
An expanded canyon filled with
all the times you lied and
all the times I let you
I couldn’t speak over the echo of that silence,
the weight of it on my chest

Now you tell me to say how I feel
don’t hold anything back,
you can take it
You practice honesty and I
do my best to believe you

But sometimes
in the back of my mind
it still echoes, “Shh, shh,
you’re safer in silence”

#Write31Days – Day 4

1/4/2018 – “Brew”

When I was 7 I had a dream
we owned a restaurant
and in the back kitchen worked a witch

She had warts, clammy skin and
a pointed hat, all the things
a 7-year-old would expect to see
from a witch working in her parents’ kitchen

Back then I had a real fear of witches
thanks to Roald Dahl and that
terrifying 1990 “kids’” movie they made
So when I saw that witch
brewing who-knew-what
in a cauldron suspiciously the same size as me
dream changed to nightmare and I woke up

My body shook, cold with sweat, but that scrawny,
short-haired, tenacious 7-year-old decided,
this dream wasn’t over
And forcibly went back to sleep

I returned to that kitchen,
potions still brewing,
and scrawny, short-haired,
tenacious dream-me explained to the witch
why it was bad to be bad,
and good to be good

I told her we could be friends if she’d just
quit with the brewing and
be a nice witch instead

And that nightmare shifted so fast:
warty-witch became good,
brewing station removed,
and I guess our restaurant
gained a new cook

17 years later and I still can’t get over
how simple little me made it seem
to take a terrible nightmare
and turn it into a dream

I wish real-life witches
could be talked out of it
so easily

#Write31Days – Day 2

1/2/2018 – “Paint”

I painted my room once. I was 13 and wanted to be cool—at 24 I can admit that now. I stole my mom’s unused paint set, some forgotten cans from the clutter of the back porch, laid down sheets like the responsible kid I was. I had no real idea of what I was doing, just a pounding sensation insisting I do something with the conserved energy housed in my tiny body from all the times I refused to scream back. So I dipped pilfered paint brushes into forgotten canisters and threw the color against the sky blue wall until it forgot what shade it really was. I danced across my carpet whipping reds and greens and blues through the air, watching as the wall was dressed in splattered patterns.

When the paint dried and the pain remained I took some sharpies to that plaster and marked it with lyrics from all the emo songs I thought conveyed my angst. I think, even now, most of them had meaning. Except for the time I scribbled words about hating my mother after our throats had gone raw with screaming at each other. When my parents split up I had a lyric for it, made sure my walls wouldn’t forget it. When my grandma died I painted half a wall red to remember her. That red hung over my bed till I moved out, a picture of the fact that everything changed when she left. A signature at the end of my four-walled mural, I painted my hand black and slapped it on that sky-blue wall so hard it nearly cracked. The only way a teenager could leave an imprint.

Five months ago he repainted that room. There wasn’t a discussion, a final look or some pictures taken. My teenage years got swallowed whole by brushes covered in beige paint – just the right color to smother out the memories. I know erasing me wasn’t the point, but, bravo either way.

Author’s Note: I want to be honest and admit that I definitely edited this one a lot after my five minutes were up. It mattered a lot to me, so I wanted to make sure it was at least decent. I know it’s a little short and the end comes quickly. Maybe one day I will write more on this topic.