Just because I smiled at him,
And he smiled back at me.
Just because he asked to meet,
And I agreed.
Just because I laughed.
He really was funny.
Just because he met my mom
And called her mummy.
Just because he asked me to marry
And I said yes.
Just because my dad liked him
And thought he was the best.
Just because we had two children,
Like married people do.
Just because I wasn’t the only one
Hearing I love you.
Just because I was tired
Of covering up my bruises.
Just because I didn’t want to hear
Any more excuses.
Just because I had two children
Didn’t mean that I would stay.
Just because he was my first love
Didn’t mean he should take my life away.
I think it’s strange that people are so polite. I’d prefer if they were sincere, so I could believe them.
When people act like that – polite and nice and smiley – I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know who they are.
I don’t know if it’s okay for me to tell them what made me upset yesterday, or if I can share some sad news I just received.
Can I tell them that I recently realized that I was being bullied in school? Or that I’m scared I’ll end up with someone like my dad because I know girls attract their fathers? I mean I love my father, and I think it would be great if I met someone who was physically similar to him, but I don’t want to be with someone who resembles him in personality. How about that I hate myself? And that I’m only now beginning to think I’m a little bit pretty, or beautiful or whatever? Can I tell them that?
What about questions? Can I ask them questions? Where and how did you grow up? Are you like me?
Probably not right? Thought so. Okay. Never mind then.
I wish we were all open so I could see and not guess all the time. I wish I didn’t have to feel people out, and wonder if it’s okay to reveal myself to them. I wish I understood them, and that they understood me. I hate having to be aloof when I don’t want to be. And I hate others not knowing when to leave me alone because I just need to be alone and for everyone to stop talking. And I wish they knew when I needed them, because I feel so alone in this huge place full of people and I don’t know what to do.
I’m from a tropical country okay? And I wasn’t extremely well off either. I started washing my clothes – by hand because we didn’t have a washing machine – in the sixth grade. In Jamaica, where I’m from, after you wash your clothes, you pin them up outside on a line. Okay? Good. The sun is out there almost all the time, so whenever you put your clothes out, all you have to do is go back inside and wait a while. Watch television, get something to eat, take a nap. Check on the clothes if you think they’re dry. If they are you pick them up and bring them inside, if not, you leave them and go back to whatever you were watching on TV.
Now here comes Boston with a Nor’easter and a washing machine and dryer. Great! I don’t have to bend over and hurt my back washing my clothes anymore! This is freaking awesome. And isn’t the laundry great to hold against your face after it’s just come out of the dryer?! Big smiles. Yay me. No more hand-washing. Wonderful.
No. Not wonderful. Not wonderful at all (and I wish I’d stop making mistakes on this keyboard so I could hurry up and type this). Buying new clothes for the winter was nice and all. It was really nice. Washing them in the machine, drying them in the dryer, that was nice too. But then my wrists are out…and…what the heck is this? Why are these sleeves shorter? They weren’t like this the last time I tried this blouse on. Why are these pajama bottoms suddenly mid-way between my knees and ankles? Um. I don’t want them anymore. But! Can’t return them because I’ve already washed and dried them and made them short like this. Like I was supposed to know that a dryer shrunk clothes. Not that I could do anything else either because there isn’t anything outside to hang clothes on and even if there were, it’s…well I don’t know how many degrees because these people use Fahrenheit, but it’s cold outside! And I don’t see where I could hang them inside either. Well isn’t this great? So I guess I’ll have to just forever walk around pulling my sleeves down and holding them in place as much as I can…
I hate my dryer!
It’s not a wall,
And I didn’t make it.
It just grew up
A little more
That it was okay to hurt me;
Because I would understand,
And I would be fine.
I’m happy when I don’t have to cook.
Or when I cook because I want to
After I’ve found a nice recipe
That I have all the ingredients for.
I’m happy when I watch a good drama
That isn’t at all boring
And holds my attention
From the first second
To the very last.
I’m happy when the house is quiet.
When everyone is gone
And I don’t have to worry
About laughing or singing
As loud as I want to.
I’m happy when my alarm doesn’t go off
And I can wake up at 3pm
Because I went to sleep at five in the morning.
I’m happy when my mother tells me thank you
After I’ve done something for her.
I like that because she’s done many things for me.
I’m happy when my sister laughs
Because something good has happened to her.
Something she had waited for
And really wanted.
I’m happy when my father makes his jokes.
The ones that are actually funny,
But that only make me laugh
For about three seconds.
I’m happy that I can write poems like this,
I cried until my chest started hurting.