Dirt

Dirt by Valerie Parente

I strolled back to that field of dirt
where the trauma was at its worst
and suddenly I’m twelve again
and I feel absolutely no different.
So much dirt on my hands
Like I didn’t stand a chance
Because I was way too deep
In the dirt beneath my feet.
And I can see it now
The seeds meant to sprout.
The place where I was supposed to grow a garden
But a bunch of rowdy kids interrupted the harvest.
Throwing dirt at my name
When I was at that critical age.
My mind is twenty-six years old and it hasn’t forgotten
All the times those kids teased me just for talking.
“Do you want to dance with her?” some girl asked,
“Never,” the popular boy laughed.
It’s taken me a decade and a half
To realize I’ve been wearing that past,
Attracted to the trauma of being unwanted
That’s why I fall for men who aren’t options.
And I’m fairly certain there’s a part of me
That’s been trying to understand why I was teased
That’s why I looked for the worst in myself
And fell into an adolescent kind of hell.
Back then I just dismissed and dismissed
Because I knew that kids will be kids.
In a way I was more sensible back then
Because now I feel the need to openly obsess.
That’s why I visited this field of dirt in the first place
I figured it was about time to unearth that pain.
I’m not upset, I’m not mad.
I just wanna know what about me was so bad
That they felt the need to throw that dirt
When I was just a twelve year old girl
Minding my own business in my own garden
Planting a future I almost walked in.

Its not about trying to re-hash old wounds
It’s about trying to get to the root.
Because there’s trauma under this ground
and I think I’m ready to dig it out.
There is so much beauty in retrospect
Because as I look back, the clouds roll in.
Now the rain is coming down
And those seeds are finally ready to sprout.

– Valerie Parente (12-10-2020)

Young Sapling

Young Sapling by Valerie Parente

You, Young Sapling, dig your roots deeper into the ground,
becoming more rigid and stubborn with every anxiety beneath your surface.

The conflict is that you did not want to grow up,
but time forced you to, as it does to all nature around to you.

But the difference between you and the others was that they embraced their growing pains
and instead you strengthened the roots that were already there.

Mother Nature wanted things from you that you were not ready to give
and rather than wait to be ready, you dug deeper into the dirt and resisted force.

You told yourself the extremist belief that you would never be ready.
You told yourself that this refusal to budge was part of your persiting identity.

And now more time has gone by and you still have to grow up, but you are lost.
So you hyper-focus your motivation on making proud the seed that first planted you.

You shut out the forest because to acknowledge the others
feels like abandoning those precious roots, and your pride will not allow this.

You numbed yourself from the changes in the weather pressure,
making it so hard to see the signs that you are now finally ready to grow up.

And how beautiful is it, Young Sapling, that Mother Nature placed another tree so close to you,
another sapling who dealt with the same trauma of not wanting to grow up,
another sapling that wants to be able to stretch out its branches to reach yours
and grow alongside you.

We Can Grow Together

“We Can Grow Together” by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (11-18-2017)