Seven kids from the workshop Teens Writing from the Heart of Illness & Healing read a selection of their poems the other night to crowd of parents, friends, community members, medical doctors and staff at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle. They read with power and conviction and wowed everyone in attendance. Parents were surprised at the strength and insightfulness of their words, at the deep emotional clarity and risk-taking. The audience was supportive and appreciative and I think the teens themselves were proud and maybe amazed, at the effect their words had.
Here are a few excerpts from their work:
I’m lost in my mind spinning around.
I’m lost in my memories still to be found.
I’m lost in my heart deep inside.
I’m lost in my smile so sweet and kind.
I’m lost in my past I’m lost in my present.
Where I’m from smells of fresh-baked bread
and rosemary rubbed between
I’m from dancing like drunk people
on the altar platform
Christ is born
and Christ is risen
from Rejoice! and the corners of creation.
I’m from the perfect
is the enemy of the good
and good enough
is never really good enough….
from Sickle Cell
…Constantly in hospitals accompanied by televisions and books
as best friends
tears became my voice, fear was my only choice
at the age of eight.
I was given opportunities to only be turned down
as the pain arised and the devil tattooed the word, “demise.”
my life had reached it’s point…