Friday, April 19, 2019

GloPoWriMo Day 18: Elegy For Innocence

Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.

I'm not sure this fits an abstraction of sadness, but disillusionment is sort of a loss in its own way, something that one could grieve over when you realise something integral and precious is gone for good. It's as good as a cluster headache would permit today, anyhow.


                you believed in heroes when you were five

                 there was Mighty Isis with her tiara and white mini dress soaring through the air and the magical amulet that guaranteed superpowers to defeat evil except that you didn’t know that evil didn’t come with recognizable Fu Manchu mustaches bushy sideburns and bad 70s clothes but much closer to home words cloaked in your grandaunt’s cheap flowered polyester each overly bright artificial bloom bearing a caption she hung onto your 12 year old shoulders 

                captions like your thighs are chunky but that’s all right you’re good at hiding all your fat in your ass so you’ll look splendid in a cheongsam because you need a round ass to wear one words gussied up in concerned skirts and demure slacks telling Mom you watch that girl of yours she’s running around with boys words planted firmly in the bedrock of assuming you're already a little slut but you’re 11 you’re 11 years old and you don’t know that you’ve already been  marked and condemned you don’t even know that boys are dangerous creatures that should be kept far far away

much later you discover that magical amulets aren’t real that there’s no talisman against classmates dismantling your name making fun of you or that girl your best friend who bullied you into lying for her to teachers and left you with the fallouts that got you punished and you never thought that this could be wrong because you were best friends and protecting her was important 

you didn’t know she was soft sawdust in a brittle shell until the day you stood up to her (her face crumpled like used tissue tears leaking out of her eyes like a plastic bag full of water with holes stabbed into it not long after that she moved and you never saw her again)

you never knew that you were cracked a glass jar with the heart weeping out of you like black tears not until you lay against the lulling rhythm of someone else's heart you reached for your own and found

black hollow black hole
blip blip blip the machinery turns 
blip blip warning battery running low

there are no heroes at forty-five


Merril D. Smith said...

Well, you certainly come up with creative things when you have a headache! The loss of innocence is like a hearing a heart break.

Shuku said...

I remember the day child-I realised that no talisman in the world could stop people from bullying you - it felt like a heartbreak. Thank you! I I could come up with and still be on time!

Jane Dougherty said...

Oh, this is good! The loss of self, childhood, illusions is as much a loss as losing a different person. Why do some adults think children have no brains and no feelings?

Shuku said...

Jane! Thank you! I really don't know why some adults would even assume that about children - I teach enough of them to know that they feel very deeply indeed. How many children have gone back home in tears because their best friend didn't want to be their best friend that day! I think one remembers things like that even more so because they're felt so strongly in childhood.

Kerfe said...

Childhood friendships are full of disillusionment and heartbreak. I still remember the party a 6th grade classmate gave where she invited every girl in the class but me...that was 50 years ago!

And I've had friends betray me as an adult still hurts. And yet we don't really give up, do we? We have to leave ourselves open to hurt in order to have a friendship. But yes, the innocence is gone...we know what could happen.

paeansunplugged said...

The losses we suffer as we grow up eventually make us what we are. This is really good.

Jane Dougherty said...

Where are you? Is everything okay?

Jane Dougherty said...