It’s time for some poetry! We are going to go back through all my old notebooks and look at the god-awful poetry I wrote when I was an angsty teen and then you will get present day Michelle’s re-interpretation/headdesk horror-filled embarrassment.
You stare ahead looking bored
Your face smooth
Devoid of any emotion besides distaste
This is the façade you put up
No one questions it because it’s all they know
Sneer, Snarl and Silence
The only three forms of communication you use
It’s what you learned
People call you Ice for that is how you act
But that’s all it is
Inside is a little girl crying to be held
But that is impossible
You’ve broken all connections to the outside world
A ten foot wall surrounds your heart
Guarded with guns
It makes sure nothing can come in or out
There is no such thing as love or trust
Those things are just fantasies
Everything has a price the only question is:
How much are you willing to pay?
If I recall correctly, this was one of my earlier poems so that means it was written in middle school. The older I get, the more I look back on those years and am in awe of the fact that anyone can survive them. Everything was a crisis, nothing was good, my social circle was in flux for half of it, and everyone seemed like your enemy. Thankfully, I had a good relationship with my parents and knew I had support on the home front. My sister was amazing and never bullied me like some older siblings do. But there was something about those middle school years.
I have always been emotional. My stress response is to cry and cry hard. Something goes wrong, my eyes prick, my sinuses burn, and I just know I’m going to break down. To this day you can still read almost every thought and emotion I have on my face. I am not subtle. When I think I am being subtle, most people get the message like a bomb going off. I am starting to think I might get the art of subtlety in my fifties or sixties, right before I reach the age where I can start really not giving a fuck and saying whatever I want because the grave is closer than the cradle and fuck it.
The point of all of that being – who the fuck did middle school me think I was? There was no way I had “broken all connections to the outside world.” I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about anything – just ask my sister. All I ever did was blurt out the one thing she told me not to say. “…nothing can come in or out” my ass. You looked at me askance in middle school and I was wounded. I knew this person or that person didn’t like me and I would pretend not to care, but I did. MARTYR COMPLEX. I was also extremely transparent about the people I did not like. If you were on my shit list, you fucking knew it. There was a certain brand of extreme politeness paired with bitchy looks that I employed, again, thinking I was being subtle.
Having said that, I know this poem was not completely about me. It was probably another attempt to get into the head of a character or a situation that I had read about or dreamed up. I think I might be incapable of writing characters with happy backstories. Starting from a young age, every character I dreamed up had some horrifying trauma in their past. I haven’t changed much since then, my characters are all really messed up from their pasts, but maybe I am improving? A smidge? I think all of my writer friends are snorting into their beverage of choice at that statement.
In conclusion, I think this poem was middle school Michelle just wishing she was capable of that amount of emotional distance and poise. Present me is pretty sure that’s just a fantasy that will never happen, evidenced by the fact that I cry over commercials.