Children of War

Lay down your weight on our shoulders

Crush our lungs with your fists

Rip out our hearts with your teeth

Sew your eyes shut, needle and thread

Tear your ears out, blood under your nails

You’ve murdered our youth

You’ve killed our innocence

The water in your sink is tainted blood red

The guilt on your skin stick to your bones

The soap has run out, you can’t wash this away

The truth remains

 

This is all you’ve left us

A charred world

In pieces

This is all you’ve left us

Hate and smoke and murder

We don’t want it

We will burn down the pieces

We will drink from the hands of Hope

We will rise from the ashes

And we will rebuild

This world you have broken

HAIR – Behind the Poem

I wrote this poem in a bathroom stall, while my heart was beating fast and my hands were running through my hair nervously. I was hiding.

I was hiding because I had to ask some lady in some office a question I can’t remember now. I had walked past the office about two or three times, but there were other people in there, asking their own questions. My irrational mind didn’t want to go in while there were other people in the room. I guess I thought they’d judge me or something. After walking in front of the office for the second or third time I realized how ridiculous I looked, so I hid in the bathroom, praying that when I got out, the office would be empty and I could ask my question without other people hearing me.

While I was in the bathroom I realized something. This wasn’t the first time something like this happened  to me. I’d been afraid of social situations like these for a long time. I realized something else. Whenever I felt nervous, insecure or afraid in these moments, I always touched my hair. I would pat it down, pull it up in a ponytail, let it down, twist a strand around my finger, and move it to cover up as much of my face… It was a nervous action I’d been doing for a long time and I realized it there, in that bathroom. I guessed that, for some reason, touching my hair made me feel a little bit more safe.

So to pass the time, and to quiet my mind, and to ease my beating heart and my nervous hands, I opened the notes app on my phone and wrote the first part of this poem. Later on that day, I finished it in the shower.

To whoever goes through things like these on a daily basis; where you can’t seem to make yourself engage in certain social situations because they make your heart race, or your palms sweat, or your stomach churn, or you hands run nervously through your hair: you are not alone. Around 15 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder.

To those 15 million, and all the millions more that are affected by this disorder, I thought of you when I wrote this poem. I know sometimes its easy to feel powerless, but honestly, every time we are able to move past our sweaty palms, or our quickened heart rate and do whatever it is we need to do, it is a battle won and we should be proud of those moments.

 

HAIR

playing with my hair

my thoughts

unconsciously running my fingers over the

silk on my head

the thing that’s guaranteed

every strand

is solid and liquid

it runs, stays still

free and restrained

my nails scrape the ends

as my courage slips

and I look around

eyes moving side

to side

i seek refuge under dead cells

black curtains frame my cheeks

 

my hair is the one I vent to

when my thoughts get loud

 

when I fly to clouds

but need to stay home

my hair keeps me here

both feet on the ground

HAIR