The Girl

She is born into a disgusting world,
With people who have hard, harsh hearts.
They’ve called her names all her life,
As if it’s all a cruel game.
Shame is the name of her game.

Fat, ugly, good-for-nothing,
Loner, weirdo, poor;
This is her identity,
And she believes it.

Her teen years come,
And the girls are brutal,
The boys often worse

A stoic at school,
She constructs a brick wall around her heart,
Around her mind,
Around her life.

It is a thick wall,
For it needs to withstand blow,
After blow,
After blow,
After blow.

That is, until she returns home.

The bricks crumble,
And she hides in her bedroom,
In the corner,
Cowering,
A waterfall of tears
Streaming down her face.

Her pillow is saturated with tears;
Years of weeping have stained it.
This pillow is the only witness to her pain.

Her arms are now the victims,
And her razor blades are the abusers.

She slices her arms
Day after day
To numb the emotional pain;
The physical is much easier to deal with,
She is in control,
Not the others.

She enters the restroom after meals,
Turns on the faucet to make some noise,
And watches the contents of her stomach
Empty into the toilet.
She is determined to be thin;
Maybe they’ll like her then.

Still, they are cruel as ever.

She has to do something
To make them all like her,
To make them think she is worth something,
To make them stop,
To make the pain go away,
Or at least suppress it.

Maybe she’ll be accepted
When she is uninhibited.

Bottle after bottle after bottle,
She makes herself available
To any man that will take her,
And make her feel loved

Instead of feeling loved,
She feels lost,
Damaged,
Tainted,
Broken.
When will it end?
Will it ever end?

Yes.
It ends today.

It is a new day,
Very different than the rest,
But she doesn’t notice.
At first.

Walking to school as usual,
She sees him from afar,
But her wall’s not built yet.

He stops in his tracks;
He looks her way,
And begins to walk toward her.

She stops,
Looks,
Trembles,
Looks again,
And feels at ease
For the first time
Ever.

She stops building her wall,
And instead,
Deconstructs her protection.

With no wall around her heart,
Around her mind,
Around her life,
She’s vulnerable,
But she feels safe.

His eyes are kind,
His gait is intentional,
But not threatening.

A smile stretches across his face
As he stands inches away from hers.

He leans over,
And gently whispers,
“You’re beautiful.”

Immediately,
She gasps for air,
Her cheeks redden,
And her legs nearly give out
At the sound of the foreign words.

Her eyes begin to water,
Her spirit begins to fill,
The pieces of her heart find one another.

She believes him.

Billy and His Moon

Billy lives alone
In an alley
Maybe on a street corner
Wherever he lands
At the end of the day

His father, brutally murdered
And his mother, a runaway
Never to be found again

Friends. What friends?
Nobody cares for this tramp

A wanderer by day
And a street rat by night
The only constant presence in Billy’s life
Is that moon in the sky

His sole companion.

And even that leaves him alone sometimes
But he knows it’ll be back soon
Unlike the others

Early in the morning
His friend’s harsh twin sister—
Fraternal twin—
Wakes him from his stupor
Nearly burning his face

Billy immediately notices the absence
Of the white, billowy (sometimes wispy) curtains
That often cloud the view
Of his nighttime friend

He fills with excitement
Because he knows
When the night comes
He can once again reunite
With his old albino pal.

But until then, he wanders

The Tree

His arms reach out in all directions,
Kids climbing,  jumping, playing,
Rope swings and tire swings
Boy oh boy,
This tree has it all.

He  stands high and mighty
Above all the rest—a skyscraper,
With leaves and animals galore;
This oak is alive and well.

This baby is known by many names:
A home, a refuge,
A playground by some,
A friend, or just art.

Multitalented .

He dances in the wind,
Plays in the rain,
Soaks up the rays
Day after day
Just having a good time living the good life
In freedom

Seasons come and seasons go,
And as the years pass by
This hoss just takes it in stride.

But this year is different than the rest.

The biting winter comes,
And gosh dangit it’s cold

The ice entraps his arms,
And the snow adds insult to injury.
What was once a handsome oak,
Is now a weeping willow,
Hunched over,
Sulking,
Dying.

He begins to crack under the pressure
One limb,
Two limbs,
Three limbs,
Four.
His arms violently snap
And fall lifelessly to the ground below.

This broken, forlorn life
Tries to remain optimistic
Things will be better in the spring
Right?

The ice begins to melt
And his wounds are exposed.
The sun shines,
But still
The tree is naked, broken, bruised, used.

He tries to dance in the wind
Play in the rain,
Soak up the rays,
But he can’t;
It hurts too much
He’s reminded of the better days,
When he was stronger.

The spring, summer, fall, and winter come
But still
No leaves,
No animals,
No rope swings or tire swings,
No kids.
They’ve moved on
To bigger and better things

People say he’ll live again,
But when?

Two years pass,
And they’re all still wrong.

They contemplate cutting him down,
Put him out of his misery,
But no.

They have faith he will live.
He has faith he will live
They believe in him,
Which allows him believe in himself.

His arms are still cracked,
Still void of any life,
But he’s optimistic again,
And that’s good enough for now.

Patience keeps one sane.

He listens and waits,
And for the first time,
He watches life happen
All around him,
When alas!
A leaf.

A leaf pokes his little green head
Out of one of his limbs.
Flying solo.

But wait, what’s this?
There’s another,
And another,
And another!

He’s coming back to life,
He can feel it in his roots,
And everyone around him takes notice.

Within months he’s back and running,
Strong as ever,
Happy as can be,
Living free again.

His arms reach out in all directions,
Kids climbing,  jumping, playing,
Rope swings and tire swings
Boy oh boy,
This tree has it all.