A POEM FROM HIGH SCHOOL and A REFLECTION FROM 2011
I am here,
And I’m lonely.
I live, eat and talk with you.
You listen while reading the paper.
My tears are shrill, deafening.
Sitting on the toilet seat,
I cry them
into a raggedy towel.
You bang on the locked door and
yell at me to get out.
I attempt to tell you my problems,
I know you have enough of your own
But I can help you too.
Tell me what you’re feeling….
I know. Alright. I’ll grow up.
You turn your back to me,
reverting to the work stacked on the desk.
My voice unhinges.
You said you’d listen.
I stop in the middle of reciting my poem;
you’re not listening.
I know you have more important things to do.
You probably think I’m a fool.
(originally published in OPUS at
NEW ROCHELLE HIGHS SCHOOL)
-- I grew with a single parent, my father. He raised four kids alone. My mother had a stroke that left her brain damaged, paralyzed and hospitalized since I was four-and-a-half years old. When I was in high school I felt particularly desperate. By then, I was responsible for my three younger siblings, in charge of the housework and meals for my family. I wrote this poem in 11 grade. My high school literary magazine, Opus, at New Rochelle High School published it. This poem, never titled, made me realize that I could channel my emotions, my raw loneliness, into writing. All these years later, this poem still resonates for me. How did my father react to it? I don’t think he did. He didn’t read, or listen to, my poetry. Will he read my LIE, my debut novel? I can’t say for sure, but now I know, I am not a fool. I did the dishes, the laundry, made dinner and wrote. I grew up. Writing shaped and defined me, carried me through the worst times in my life, and the best. Though, I have to admit, I hope he reads LIE. After all these years, I still want him to listen, to hear me, to acknowledge me -- why?