Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Colleen Juri has A Lesson to Be Learned

photo © Mark Butkus 2013
Navigating childhood is a challenge at the best of times.

Who would have known?
No one could have seen what I was hiding
I sift through every drawer in the house.
No clean underwear to be found.
Mom is sick and I cannot bother her.
I do what I must do, chin up, I go to school.

Do you see my pain? No, of course not.
I hide it from myself. I'm good that way.
I face the world; I face my friends.
I forget. I detach.
And I learn. How I love to learn.
A world of words and numbers and art,
Saves me.
My face, is a face that succeeds.

Until now. I am lost.
The armor steadfastly worn and endured,
weighs heavily on my desire of freedom.

I need to know the heart of mine,
That has ached and known fierce loneliness.
I will slowly remove the steely veil that separates,
Harnesses and hides.
I will practice telling the truth.
I will succeed.

Do you see my joy? Yes, you will.
I'm learning to show you my heart and to
Have no fear.
I do what I must do, chin up, I go to school.

— Colleen Juri

A Lesson to Be Learned appears in Last Call: Poems, Stories and Art from the Costalegre. We thank Colleen Juri for her contributions and continued support of the Bar None Group. You can find her on a little stretch of paradise in Mexico.

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