Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do Not Open

My room is painted green
like mint,
though the mint leaves we used to eat,
the ones that grew
behind the neighbor's house,
were never this color at all.
They were darker, rough and cool in July.
Mom said they might have been sprayed
with things that killed bugs and small children.
And that's why you shouldn’t take candy from strangers.

I'm pretty.

They told me that,
on days when I thought I wasn't,
which was mostly always.
You learn to take hugs when you can get them,
and save them up in jars for some later crisis
when you're home alone and
a phone call would be too hard.
I used to jump on my parents' bed and
talk for ages about nothing
before all the beeps and dials and distances
took away my words.

I found a cobweb
near my music stand -
(because I don't make music anymore)
A blob of too-thin silk,
nothing like the beautiful lace spider webs
in the corners of my front porch
that I never liked to tear down
but always did,
because little girls are supposed to think spiders are icky.
(I love the look
of thin, silver lines
that criss-cross
in neat patterns
over soft skin.)

I say I'm better now.

I heard, once,
that people like green
when they’re coming out of depression,
(Coming out,
like it's a room you go into,
just to kill some time
before stepping back into grass and trees
and afternoon shadows.)
but I don't believe it,
and I was never depressed

I live in small notebooks with empty pages
and endless lines of history,
dwelt upon until it's nothing
but a badly written story.
I can think things into fiction
if I write enough words.

I still sleep with a teddy bear
and like to pretend I'll never grow up –
a female Peter Pan, cuter, friendlier,
in a doll's dress
and a green hat with a feather.

I want to dance, sometimes, but I'm scared of being caught
in moving for movement's sake.

Someday, I'll put it all in a box in my attic
when I'm a crazy old lady who everyone's forgotten:
teddy bears and spider webs and empty jars
and pages of
fictional history
that I wrote while it happened for everyone but me.
I'll write "Do Not Open" in green ink

and wait for someone to find it beautiful.

Submitted by Shaker spiffykt

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