Today my vivacious and courageous daughter turns seventeen years old and I wanted to share a poem she wrote toward the end of this school year. She has had a rough couple of years and she delves into some of that here. Would you give her some love?
Thoughts Through a Pencil
She wrote ever since she was a little girl,
With long hair and a gentle curl.
It was her refuge, her getaway
From the general worries of everyday.
She longed to become a writer,
Someone paid to make others’ worries a little lighter.
And through these words, her world grew brighter.
Her main focus was reflection,
And she learned more about herself through inspection.
Her worries surprised her,
Suspecting herself to grow into an old miser.
But through these works, she still could muster
A new worldview, full of luster.
The earth is a glorious place
Full of beauty and full of grace.
And while things didn’t turn out the way she wanted,
She found her growth was still unstunted.
She was in wonder of the world;
The sky snowed powdered sugar,
She followed wherever the whispering trees took her
Her childhood paid her constant visits
The memories appearing as wispy spirits
Her pencil etched onto the lines
Her thoughts and worries of the times.
Her mind grasped to reach the fading rhymes,
As the wind carries echoing chimes.
But as the wind blew on,
She found she could not fill a page with brawn.
Her pages were scarcely full to the brim,
Yet were never under half a page, much too slim.
The scratching of the pencil was music to her ears,
For to the music, her mind still steers
She talked of rhythm and of passion
And so to write it was the fashion.
She wrote of herself as a piano.
“My melody may be one of triumph,
Or it may leave me berated.
Major or minor,
Waltz and crescendo,
Over time, my luster starts to let go.”
Her goal was to transform the reader to her memory
Ground into words as if from emory.
She wrote of her home’s terrain,
Of the smell of dust after rain
“A cloud on the ground created a fog just thick enough to blur the lines of the trees and nearby barns.
The sun, now higher on the horizon, cast more gold tones as the pink daybreak faded away.”
These stirred in her mind the chilly mornings of May,
And the timid donkey’s gentle bray.
She loved to write in detail
So to show her readers the view through the veil
Of her scattered mind,
Which made her pencil nearly blind.
She left incomplete thoughts and emotions on the paper,
Which left her in ruins, that vicious caper
Never able to make ends meet,
She used all her efforts to fill up the sheet.
But alas, she did not prevail,
For her thoughts on stormy seas do not sail
When she was given a prompt, the vision was there.
Now, to make the words appear from thin air.
Most often on her page were words of fiction,
Things that could never happen in the world she lived in.
When asked to replace the falling snow,
Her response went just like so;
“Powdered sugar is lighting softly on the earth, coating everything in sight in a sweet frosting…
The world is a candyland, a kaleidoscope of uniquely-flavored candies and lozenges, and the air is transformed into a wafting array of peppermint, butterscotch, and toffees…
Syrup drops from the tips of pine needles as the warming sun melts away the candyland, and the sugar snow fades away to syrupy rain in the spring.”
She based her writing on stories that already provoked her mind,
“The Nutcracker” and “Inkheart” through her thoughts would wind.
They captured her fantasies of a child’s point of view,
Where everything to see was something new.
On and on she pondered,
And further from the point she wandered,
Til she found herself back at the start
On the innermost thoughts of her heart.
Everything she wrote came from deep within,
Though on the inside, she was wearing thin.
She described her lifestyle.
“Wake up, become exhausted with little effort, and then finally, when my thoughts are made of pillows and clouds and stars and slumber, I become utterly awake.”
Her mind was a mess,
An unfortunate consequence of stress.
Her blank paper fleered at her,
But that never seemed to matter.
She kept writing on, determined to make the jeer shatter.
She wrote in ways often nostalgic.
Her memories of childhood seemed to stick.
She wrote as child seeing the world for the first time,
Often completing the work with a word of rhyme.
In her pieces, she wrote as herself
Many years ago,
As a child who saw a shelf
As an adventure all in itself
Perhaps her reason for this
Was for the innocence she so missed.
Before the pain was able to fester,
Before puffy eyes and illness dressed her.
Before the invisible stomach pain
Enslaved her with a chain.
She wrote of fears,
And of lost times that brought her tears.
She drafted of the years
Down which her narrow path veers.
She was left in a world of hurt,
With mental illness that clung like dirt.
She explored uncertainty,
As reckless as the frothy sea.
Where to go? What to do?
“That,” she told herself, “Is up to you.”
Through her writing, and this audit,
Her thoughts are no longer locked in a closet.
She writes of before a time when she was hurting,
But she also writes of hope, bright and burning.
Her thoughts on blank pages
Are more useful than when kept in her mind’s spaces.
They help her stay afloat
When the skies have gone all gray.
And bring her back to shore
When she has gone astray.