Feel free to listen to the audio, or read along if you like.
This one is for the attackers.
The grown men and young boys
Who took it upon themselves
To chip away at me as if I was a block of ice.
These are the fissure kings.
Cracking crevices and calamity.
Synonyms for calamity:
As in, “ruin your relationships,”
Or, “ruin your life”.
Regardless of the word,
None of it would be apparent
Until thirty years after the fact.
This is for the heartless ones.
The ones who sat smiling
Grinning like Cheshire
Laughing like loons
Nothing funnier than tears.
Laugh out loud.
Laugh my ass off
Roll on the floor laughing.
Comedy gold in your pain.
Synonyms for relentless:
As in, “Unforgiving like the broken crack of your smiles,”
Or, “the mob was unforgiving in their rampage over the boy.”
I can still see the squint of your eyes.
Still glimmering in my afterthought.
In my dreams.
The ones I have during the day,
And the ones I run from at night.
This is for the teachers.
The ones who sat back and watched
But didn’t intervene because “hey, it’s recess.”
“Hey, it’s lunchtime.”
“Hey, it’s only language.“
“How bad can it be?”
“It’s not like he’s bloodied.”
But I am.
Beaten senseless by nouns
Kicked in the guts with adjectives
Stabbed in the heart with verbs.
Left to twitch.
Synonyms for twitch:
“Snap, like a twig beneath the weight of a boot.”
“Snap, like a mind beneath the weight of a mob.”
This one’s for the kids who knew better.
The two boys on a street called Ferryland
Who held me down as another used me for a toilet.
This is for you.
This is for how years later you would add me as a friend.
Synonyms for friend:
As in “there’s chum in the water”.
As in “it’s a feeding frenzy and you’re holding dinner steady, chum.”
Hands wrapped around my arms,
Tight grip, empty eyes.
Then approaches the enemy.
Synonyms for enemy:
And invade he would.
Three decades of thoughts
Whiz banging around in my brain.
Images popping up unwanted.
Smells. Memories. Sounds.
Invasion never sleeps.
This is for the soldiers.
We have some things in common you and I.
Though I’ve not fought in a war,
I carry with me some of the same scars.
Sleepless nights. Intrusive thoughts.
Synonyms for frailty:
As in “you are failing to be normal”.
Or, “you are failing those you love.”
This is for those I love and have loved.
It wasn’t me who hurt you.
It was the scars.
They only seek to protect.
Synonyms for protect:
As in, “I stonewalled everyone out of my life.”
Or, “my love is like a stonewall. Hard to break through and to understand.”
In seeking protection, I’ve caused damage.
Synonyms for damage:
As in, “I never meant any harm.”
Or, “Harm was the last thing I wanted for you.”
This is for forgiveness.
The holy grail of my life.
The seemingly unattainable.
Synonyms for unattainable:
“Aloof, like my heart is.”
“Aloof, like my mind has been.”
Every day I send out a search party for it.
Hounds and men with lights scour my subconscious,
And every night they return empty handed.
But as long as I draw breath I will continue to send them into the woods.
Because without it, there is no life.
Synonyms for life:
As in, “being allowed to forgive myself.”
Or, “Being capable of forgiving others.”
Every day the search party grows a little larger.
And I hope, that one day,
They return with hands full of forgiveness.