Poetry Thursday: What consumes you

gothanachronism_Paul_Stevenson

In my youth
I thought
I had to be dark
to be interesting

Which
for a girl
who was lighter
than helium
and
whiter
than 14 Presbyterians
having high tea
at the Ritz
was problematic.

Not
exactly true
but proves a point:
how black
or blue
can a child of privilege
with a naturally sunny
obviously buoyant
basically optimistic bent
be?

Dark
as it turns out
is a relative thing.

You can adjust
your vision
to prisons
of every variety,
from plush-lined, air-conditioned luxe
to pits dug out
from dirt
you displace yourself
at the end of an insistent,
dispassionate
lash.

Or so I’ve heard.

I have said before:
my darkest days
took place in full daylight
surrounded by blessings
and love
and riches so bright
their shine shames me still.

And my brightest days
I spent
shedding blood
the hard way
amidst people
who were on their way out
for good.

Dark is neither glorious
nor foul
it is just the opposite
of light.

You can try it on
in your youth
to mimic the burdens of elders
and other, less fortunate souls
like children dressing for Halloween.

But not for too long
and only for play.

Dark exists always
to remind us
of the choice of light.

The sometimes hard
choice of light
that people in times
and circumstances
of such blackness
we cannot imagine
chose
time and time
again.

Today
I do not dress for Halloween
nor do I pose in black.
Too much real pain
to play dress-up
unless it serves
to illuminate
or charm
or coax a laugh
from the darkness.

And so, my friend,
I say to you:
I see your darkness
and raise you a candle,
a glowstick,
a toothy grin, in a pinch.

Be dark
if you like
but remember:
the light
is always there
on the flip side
or the end of a tunnel
or what have you
when you are ready
to turn into it.

xxx
c

Image by Paul Stevenson via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

9 comments

  1. Another GREAT poem. The first part had me hooked:

    In my youth
    I thought
    I had to be dark
    to be interesting

    For the past 25 years I’ve been thinking that I had to be sad or miserable to be a real, interesting person. Now I know that’s SO not true and that last stanza you wrote was amazing… So, when is your poetry book coming out???? I want to buy it! Haha

  2. Colleen:

    Another great poem about the choices we can make in our lives. Thank you for writing and sharing this…I think there are a LOT of people that could identify with this.

  3. I like that! Ironically I’m all in black today. Last night I dug through my closet and uncovered a giant pile of colourful clothes and then deliberately chose all black this morning…at least a little bit because I wanted to be interesting :)

  4. What a riveting poem. I agree, coming out of the dark into the light is a choice. I think blogs like yours light candles in the dark and your readers flock like moths, looking for inspiration to lead them. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Colleen, your Thursday poems are touching gifts. Each week, I am delighted, moved and gobsmacked! It always stuns me that we all share the same hidden worries – you are brilliant at lifting the veil.

    Many thanks.

  6. Which
    for a girl
    who was lighter
    than helium
    and
    whiter
    than 14 Presbyterians
    having high tea
    at the Ritz
    was problematic.

    Me too! Damn, girl, you write good!

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