Growing Pains (from Swear to Me)

I.

I grew for years, stunted

yet perfect in somebody’s eyes,

believing the crystalline structure

circling my centre

was something to behold

something to be proud of,

resplendent and terrifying.

For sixteen years,

from the moment I drew breath

and my mother’s heart

filled with dread, I bore a shield

of secrecy and strength.

For sixteen years, I revelled in chills

I sent shivering down spines

calculated manipulation and those

whom I never gave the time.

 

II.

I grew, for years, without one

to call my own – I didn’t tumble

down hills or giggle at films

I skated, dissipated.

A known entity yet untethered

to friendship for life.

They were my mother’s words

filled with dread

“They hardly know you.”

She spoke only truth.

 

III.

I grew for years, stunted

with an armoured shell

a hologram projected

into parties, classrooms and parks

until I found myself in the dark.

In a cage with no air holes

or bars to shake,

mouths vowels and arms

visible but intangible,

eyes consonants and hands

present but forced.

 

IV.

I lived, for a year, hidden

mottled blue green and lilac

my body stuttering

in the hazy lights

invisible walls

with no one to call,

except those who tried their best

an army of unrest.

 

V.

I lived and I learned

only I can rattle the bars

of the cage I built

with bleeding hands.

Only I can struggle for air

in the pool of despair

I watered myself.

 

Only I could free

wrists and ankles

from shackles

I’d fought so long,

to protect.

 

VI.

I grew, for years, stunted

until I learned

to be vulnerable.

 

 

Swear to Me

 

Image credit. 

2 thoughts on “Growing Pains (from Swear to Me)

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