Part Nine of a Ten Part Poem

The middle school girl runs over to me with a bucket of water.

Her hair is dripping wet and her clothes are soaked through.

I sit on the bench bone dry, and she runs over and throws the water onto me.

There is a second of stillness.

I see her face change for a moment- a flicker of fear in her eyes.

I imagine how she expects me to respond, I wonder if it’s the same way I expect people to respond when I step into an unknown space-

how I assume I will be wrong.

I smile at her and begin to laugh, her face thaws and softens into laughter.

She sits next to me.

We keep laughing.

In this moment, God is in the healing-

the water a beautiful baptism of risking trust.

Hands

In the past year, I have held many hands.
Big ones, small ones.
Stiff ones, soft ones.

I have held these hands for many reasons.
Many circle times.
Many plays.

I have said hello by holding hands.
I have let go of feelings by holding hands.
I have said hard goodbyes by holding hands.

While on walks, I’ve held hands in friendship.
While crying, I’ve had my hands held to show support.
While in plays, I’ve held hands in both love and fear.

In the past year, I have held many hands.
Scared ones, loved ones.
Worried ones, joyous ones.

I have held these hands for many reasons.
In every hand hold there has been connection.
In every hand hold there has been love.


If I Didn't Have To

Sure, it’s beautiful.

It creates community- a family like no other.

It lifts me up and makes me feel whole and at home.

Still, if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t.

Who would want to go into something knowing it would break them?

Knowing the crash is inevitable,

Knowing things will end abruptly, often before you’re ready?

But, the thing is, I do have to.

Because if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to say I did my best.

I wouldn’t be honest.

I wouldn’t be brave.

I wouldn’t be living.

I do it because I have to.


I wrote this poem right before tech week for A Wrinkle in Time began. I’ve had such a wonderful time in rehearsals and it’s been a true joy getting the chance to share so many hours with these people. Still, as I approached tech week my heart started to break a little. Theatre is beautiful, but it is also heartbreaking. Yes, the sadness that comes from getting rejected from an audition is awful, but I would argue that the bittersweetness that comes with knowing a beautiful thing has to end is worse. If I didn’t have to do theatre, I wouldn’t. If I didn’t feel that this is what I was meant to do with my life, I wouldn’t touch it. I don’t like change or feeling uncomfortable, and there is so much of both in this world. But, the thing is, I do feel that this is what I was meant to do. So I continue to, and I strive to remember all the reasons I love it when it gets hard.

A Small Quote From a Poem I Don't Want to Share Yet

I would tell you that you confuse me.

That being around you is like working on a puzzle I know I will never finish,

But still trying my hardest anyway.

I would tell you that you make me feel strong when I am with you,

But small when you leave.

I would tell you that I do not trust you,

That being around you feels like the calm before the storm.

I Return to Poetry

When the show is over,
The lights are turned off,
And the crowds have gone home,

When the stage has been swept,
And the lighters are put away,
I return to poetry.

I return my words to notebooks,
My voice to the sunrise,
My hands to the flowers.

I do not cry, or stir, or smile.
I let the pedestal fall,
And stand in the ruins.

I look at the rubble,
Wipe the dust from my face,
And return to poetry.


Beautiful New Thing

The day that I met you, I was only sixteen years old. Full of nerves and wonder, of coffee and uncertainty. You were also only sixteen years old. Full of excitement and knowing. A beautiful new thing.

I met you only two days after writing my first poem. I did not know then that you would inspire so many more. When you shook my hand, you did not know then that the same hand would hold mine less than two months later.

The day I met you, I was only sixteen years old. And what is a sixteen year old girl if not an anxious thing ready to hear what the world has to say?

The day we ended, I was only seventeen years old. My voice shaking as my lips form the shape of a lie. Your face calm and stable. Your eyes green and shallow.

That morning, I caught you looking at me in the amusement park. I did not know then that the upcoming hours would inspire many more poems. I try as hard as I can to not construct you into a metaphor. To leave as you are. Raw and open, not structured into what I think you could be.

The day we ended, I was only seventeen years old. And what is a seventeen year old girl if not an exploding thing ready to burst into the sky? Or to crumble under the weight of the world?

The day we changed, I was only eighteen years old. You were sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen. I had prayed for a sign. Something to show me that my inability to get you out of my head was not for nothing. And there you were, again a beautiful new thing.

The day we changed, I was only eighteen years old. And what is an eighteen year old girl if not a doubtful thing, unsure of what will happen next?