Sunday, April 12, 2015

Poem a Day Challenge: April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015: For today’s prompt, write a damage poem. Since my baby brother is a storm chaser, my mind usually jumps straight to storm damage. However, there’s more than the physical damage created by things like hurricanes, trains, and war planes. There’s also the emotional and psychological damage we inflict, survive, and conceal. The bright side of any damage is that it can be transformed into a poem.

I went with the poetic metaphor today - an extended metaphor, if you will. Without being too pitiful, a line from "The Big Bang Theory" really stuck out for me this week (I know - right???) that I felt deeply. I'm now going to talk about these characters like they are real people, because that's what television is for us anyway - a portrayal of real life. I digress.

Sheldon, being denied the right to attend a conference for some science thing, got his feelings hurt. Yes - he's annoying, I get that. But I also get that he has something valuable to offer and logic tells all viewers this.  He asks Amy, "Does one ever get over it?" She replies, "Get over what?" He states: "The hurt of being left out." And as I sat in my chair I audibly replied: "No, one does not."

I understand this hurt - more than I like to admit. And I watch my students learn this hurt, my son learn this hurt, and I watch the people that do it - their obliviousness to the how much they are hurting others - just keep moving on with their lives. And it all hurts. So - that's the damage I wrote about today. I don't think there ever comes a time where, even the most introverted among us, does not desire to belong, if only for a moment. 

I played up the context of dance. I was a "leaper" - I could sail through the air with hang time unbeknownst to many dancers; my forte. But I was not a turner - I could never achieve the balance and no matter how hard I tried, my turns just weren't great. They got better with practice, as most things do, but I was never in the middle of the turn sequence no matter how much I worked at my turns. I used this metaphor to capture the struggle of trying to so hard to fit in, and how much it hurts when no matter the effort, the result is simply not achieved. 

That "damage" never dissipates. 

Turns and Leaps

A wistful glance
At pirouettes that prance
Off center: imperfect.
The balance never achieved.

And broken turns
Lack center for concerns
Even with rotation: completed.
The picture is damaged.

The pirouette tries
To pull itself upright
To contract to be: included.
Though grace is often lacking.

The spin learns to falter,
To leap instead, to alter
To feeling a part: something.
But leaps are not turns.

And no matter how high,
A leap may fly through the sky
It longs to be: turning.
The impressiveness of group structure.

And it can’t understand,
Thus perplexed from within
Why all of its effort: ignored.
How does it learn to belong?

The choreography goes on,
Filled with great songs
And leaps are used: impressive.
But they aren’t turns.

And that wistful glance
At the groups turning prance,
Brings a leap: downward.
The roll of bone crushing.

And it limps from the stage
Broken heart in a cage,
Knowing all the while: grounded.

And still not able to turn.

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