Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chapter Eleven: Bigger

Todd stood in front of the room, sat at the stool and opened an old notebook. It was tattered, with a read cover, spiral bound.

"I wrote this poem recalling my teen years, struggling to find love and real connection. Most writing about teenagers from people who have long passed those years seem to lack an understanding of how hard they can be. I hope I did a better job."

Worth What
sunburned skin begins to melt
heart of the girl who felt
you were more than just a guy
questioned look of passers by
now you stand upon the ledge
saying goodbye to your friends
wish that momma wouldn’t see
all those things you’d never be
chilling thoughts begin to swirl
recipe to save the girl
filling holes here or there
lose your step die in despair
mirror was your greatest foe
ugly, lonely, loser, slow
you said you would save the world
see those eyes below those curls

clipping toenails in her room
smell her perfume, say it soon
he’ll always stand in your way
“you’re a loser, you are gay”
find her walking alone at night
words escape with every fright
she knows all about daddy
can’t escape the family

find the warmest place inside
crawl in there you have to hide
write down your very best words
before your view lies with the birds
sunburned skin begins to melt
heart of the girl who felt
there is no place left for me
how did all this come to be?

The audience sat amazed that their host had held so much angst inside him. And also that is words could cut so deeply into one's emotions.

Clearly sefl-conscious, Todd quickly began to close the session.

"Thank you all for coming. Next week, we will be honored to have our very own Ms. Henderson, whose work was recently published in Atlantic Monthly."

He knew all along! Ms. Henderson thought. No wonder he wasn't going to have her read this week, he had scheduled her for next week as a surprise.

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