By Linda M. Crate
PROMPT—No one noticed ...
No one noticed the impact of their words, or perhaps they didn't care. After all when we were young they taught us the rhyme: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
That was a lie. Because we spell words, they have power. Why else would it be called, "spelling?" Words have power, and I tire of people thinking they do not. I am tired of people throwing around their words carelessly as if they do not matter.
Sure, actions do matter, but so do your words. It is not okay to use your trauma or pain as a weapon to wound others.
When I was young, I used to laugh loudly, speak loudly, and I remember spilling over the garden gate like a wild rose. But everyone scolded me for living out loud so I became so quiet that people can barely hear me now.
I realize now they were wrong for all the cruel things they said to me, but back then I blamed myself and thought myself defective or broken. I thought that perhaps if I were normal that people would accept me more.
I fell in love with the worlds and realms that I found in books because when immersed in the fictive universes of others, I found solace in that no one could hurt me, and I was freed from my problems for a time.
Now I try to balance my love with fantasy with building myself a better reality. I am trying to reclaim myself, in the hopes that one day I will be heard again. Maybe one day, I will remember how to be loud again, to truly be myself, and not concern myself with what people think.
Because I am the one housed in these bones, I am the one with this beautiful heart and soul, and this life; I will be the one spending the most time with me. So I will be kind. No one noticed when they were busy hating me, I began to love myself.
They tell me that I am too angry, I am too sensitive, I am too intimidating, and I am too different or weird.
I am not too anything. I am finally me. I am done hiding who I am to make anyone comfortable. I am going to spill over the garden gate like a wild rose again, and I don't care if some people don't like that. I don't like everyone anyway so why do I need the approval of people I don't like? I don't.
Linda M. Crate's works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the author of eight poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: follow the black raven (Alien Buddha Publishing, July 2021). She has also authored three micro-collections, and four full length poetry collections. Linda writes from Meadville, PA.