Oms mah God.
I read at a poetry reading last night. It was called "The Language of Trees" and took place at an art gallery, which was showing an exhibition all about trees. About twenty-five people showed up--maybe twelve people reading poetry, and the rest listening. Everyone was lovely and encouraging, and there were so many beautiful words but...
I was terrified.
Anyways, here's my official introduction that I came up with in about thirty seconds:
I'm 16 years old, and I've lived here my entire life. When I was about 8, my dad taught me the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees*. I thought I was amazing, that I knew these secret words that of course no one else did. Like this was some magnificent secret of the universe. This poem is about my brother, who is easy-going and wonderful. If he were a tree, he would be deciduous, his leaves swaying in the wind. And I would be coniferous. Solid, anxious, constant.
The glow of TV light
Shines on lost landmarks
The crooked curve of your nose--twice broken
From some ancient grudge against the universe.
You've skinned your knees more times than I can count
And you always lose at scissors-paper-rock.
It isn't bad luck.
Bad luck would be
Walking under ladders or
Driving the wrong way down a one way street.
But you were born with a flashing smile,
The only natural adaptation that
Will save you from predators and get you a date to prom.
You laugh it off
You laugh everything off
One day I wonder if your jaw will fall apart
From all this laughing--and
How will you cope with that?
You turn your face to the sun
A mask of freckles and
Honest green eyes
My friend, you were never far from perfect
If only you weren't too stubborn
To pull over
And ask for directions.
And my other poem:
I met you on the mountain top
Where the air is thin
And the ground is raw
We talked for hours
About the wind and the birds
And the gap between your teeth
There was no grass to fold beneath our feet,
No trees to carve our initials
And all our false forevers into
If you forget and I doubt myself
It will be like it never really happened.
Loads of love,
*Deciduous trees have leaves, and the leaves fall off in the winter. Coniferous trees have cones, and keep their needles all year--they're evergreens. Now you can know the secret too :)