Created by Emma Schuster
Always (only) a campfire guitarist,
My hands sift stiff through the strings.
Short fingers can seldom straddle the notes,
Through neither strength nor size
The fretboard seems to shrink my pain softened palms.
It has always been like this,
The shame of watching juvenile joints
Surpassing what my haggard hands
Could ever do.
It started in my elbows.
Seeping through me,
Served the classic response
To a woman in crisis –
Later this would prove
To only stitch my muscles tighter;
A wound watch with stripped screws.
I remember sixteen:
Nerves shamefully seizing,
Calling my mom upstairs
To dress me
Her porcelain doll of a daughter
Fragile and fading.
She later would lament
Scaring insurers with brazen sobs
About the pens
I no longer knew
How to hold.
All my exams exist extracellularly,
Apart from the student body.
Forced to let a stranger stylize my scantron
And a computer spit out my sentences,
Sustaining strange looks
As I use the automatic buttons
On the doors
I seem too lazy to lean on.
Penmanship, that was never really there,
Falters with disuse.
My shoulders tighten through the abuse
I put them through
Because I am still too proud
To ask for help.
But I am healing.
I still hiss at the strain of cleaning saucepans
And the shame of standing
Infront of a sinfully slow swinging door.
I still drop things,
Unfeeling of the slip until I hear their sound.
I wonder if it hurts more now
To be loved
By someone who never saw any of it
Now that I am so adept at camouflage.
I have worked so hard to feel this good
And his refusal to acknowledge past pain
Is a blow to my suffering
But I will forgive him,
As I step out of my pride
And show him everything
Discover More Voices
A WUSA Women’s Centre Project Since 1995
The Women’s Centre aims to provide a female-positive and supportive environment on campus for all women and trans* folks. However, our services are for everyone!
Our volunteers are trained to provide peer support with an intersectional lens and can help connect you with resources about sexual health, healthy relationships, mental health, and more.