Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
- TITLE: If
By Katherine (Kat) Kane
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
A hotchpotch of dusty photographs on the shelf
Each a chapter, a unique moment, in my life’s story.
Memories of people, places and precious times;
Mostly a montage of joy and celebration.
An eight-year-old schoolgirl hides behind the group,
Incongruous, like her grey uniform amongst all the bright colours.
The tubby kid with glasses, who never fits in,
She pursues anonymity in her fruitless search for peace.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time,
And comfort my eight-year-old self.
Her distress calls out to me through the glass photo frame,
Oh how I wish I could give her some hope!
I guess the most obvious things she needs
Are to be heard and a big squishy hug.
But, if only she knew how her story unfolds,
Would she gain strength to walk her rocky road?
I’d start by joining in her game of Sindy dolls,
Oh those cherished games of old!
We’d dress them up as beautiful fairy princesses
All dressed up and ready for their ball.
Perhaps we’d go out in the garden
Or play the piano and sing.
Maybe she’ll let me help with her jigsaws,
How I miss having time to do those!
I’d give her those precious moments
To be who she wants to be.
Not what others tell her she is or ought to do -
Just be amazed what her imagination creates.
Silent, her tense mouth lets slip her frustration;
It doesn’t matter how long or how hard she tries
Neither anything she does, nor the person she is
Can ever be ‘good enough’.
Frozen in time, her eyes wide in terror of tomorrow
The playground’s battlefield must again be faced.
No way out: body rigid, she steels herself for the daily assault course
Of humiliation, degradation and pain.
Another shell of cruel names explodes,
Its shrapnel striking deep in her heart,
Another critical hit; her self-confidence shot to bits,
She is defenceless and without back-up.
The gunfire of cruel names, no hope of mercy,
Their deafening echoes haunt her day and night.
Tired of being hunted down and desperate for a ceasefire, she surrenders
And stabs herself with the bayonet of blame.
Deep craters in her heart yawn out a wailing lament
Her mutilated self-worth lies cold on the ground.
Would she believe me if I told her
That this nightmare won’t last forever?
There’ll be no fond farewells when they go their separate ways,
In time they’ll all go to the local high school, but not her.
Her destination; the Christian high school, a whole town away,
Will she believe that her Armistice Day has finally dawned?
Love beyond her imagination the heartbeat under its forest-green blazer,
At age eight her self-confidence is dead: by age twelve it’ll be coming back to life.
With encouragement, ‘I can’t’ will metamorphose into ‘I can’!
She’ll see her colourful wings for the first time and fly...
She’ll meet a new friend, whose balm of kindness helps heal her;
Would lonely eight-year-old me believe it could ever be true?
Beside her picture is one from an adventure in their thirties,
Would she laugh, declaring thirty to be old?
So many lives yet to touch hers will show Jesus loves and accepts her,
Slowly she’ll see herself anew through His eyes
No longer will others’ words define her worth;
The story is hers to write, not theirs to destroy.
Embracing the truth she is loved and accepted
Will one day give her the strength to forgive.
I brush the traces of tears off my eight-year-old cheek;
I wish I could tell her she’ll one day find peace.
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