If There's No Fire — NaPoWriMo Day #10 — a poem about being seen and not heard
It was never what they made it out to be—
never what we heard or saw on TV.
We dreamed of grandeur and grander things
like hugs and love and support for our dreams,
but stayed stuck in this funky demon town,
hounded by blue ghosts and cyclones.
Uncowed, we laughed and kept our light aglow.
The goal was just another trial of traps and tricks,
just another stress test on a greased treadmill
with no reward at the finish.
We played the game
and loved it anyway.
They told us, "Stay quiet,
stay busy, stay out of the way.
Keep working on everything
and nothing at all.
If there's no fire, don't call me.
Matter fact, don't call at all."
So we drew within
until our cords grew thin,
until the nerves shredded
and all feeling disappeared.
It felt safe and sane.
It was anything but.
Disregard us if you like, now.
In adulthood, we're unbowed.
The emotional neglect
created a noteworthy strength.
Though buffeted by bad vibes,
we are surrounded by earthborn angels
who love to see our faces shine
and want us to use our time
below the heavens
There are so many paper-thin sheets of good
tucked between the dusty, charred layers of bad.
I'll collect the gleaming ones, so bright,
and set the blackened ones alight.
I won't surrender this land to a hellion—
won't raise a white flag
and stomp my good name down.
I'll run you out and reinvent this town.