Friday, May 26, 2006

it's still friday

So here is another poem, one from Things I Have to Tell You: one of the books some teachers apparently think they need to ban from themselves.

New Honesty

Today I gave up
a pomising career of "truth."
Profound state of love
stepped in like a puzzle piece.
Completing, no, not
the Empire State Building,
not Mt. Rushmore or
van Gogh's Sunflowers.
Completing instead
my departure from "honesty."
Can I find a balance
between me and
the box I call my family?
I want equilibrium.
I want change.
I want to tell the Truth,
not the truth of the woman
who snapped on a collar
and named me alive.
Like a plastic ball,
I toss between myself
and the various identities
I have been assigned.
Look out—I fell in the mud.
Look out—I opened my mouth,
and out came ideas
you don’t think are pretty.
I suppose it would be scary
to be a ventriloquist who found out
her dummy can talk,
to find the doll had a brain
and opinions that will bite
when provoked.
I suppose it would be scary
if I opened my coat
and showed you all my secrets.
Would you call me a flasher
and file charges?
Would you gaze blindly
refusing to see the Truth:
I’m sorry to tell you
that I’m not sorry anymore.
I can only run for so long
and so far.
I’m done,
and I'm throwing up my Truth
like a marathon runner
at the end
of a 16-year race.

--Jessie Childress, age 16

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