Horns

Horns by Valerie Parente

I used to wear a halo,
now I wear horns,
it wasn’t my intention,
until I was scorned,
leaving the garden,
where roses have thorns,
and I didn’t come out,
unscathed from the storm,
when the sky cleared,
I was weathered and worn,
and the horns began to sprout,
from the temples I adorned.

It wasn’t immediate,
it came from hindsight,
for ten months I went,
trying to rationalize,
dissecting where and how,
I could be the bad guy,
then the news broke,
that I was in the right,
but I still wear these horns,
they comfort me at night,
’cause I can be the demon,
instead of a damsel in demise.

The townsfolk are skeptical,
for whom I vouch for,
I understand the fright,
but I’m better than before,
the uncertainty is gone,
I am no longer unsure,
there is no insecurity,
I am no longer unmoored,
if he hurts me again,
it will hurt him a hell of a lot more,
the worst already came for me,
then I grew these horns.

– Valerie Parente (3-29-2021)

Bonus

Bonus by Valerie Parente

You are not my goal,
but you are a bonus.
I learned to live without,
so now I can live with.

– Valerie Parente (3-25-2021)

Mental Growth

Mental Growth by Valerie Parente

How many times
have we heard that saying
“you need to go through pain to grow”?
How many times
did we try to cheat the system
when all we really did was postpone?
Well I always knew I would break
I just kept putting off the date
now I’ve had a year to mature
and the growth is ten times more
but the one thing I need to try
is never to celebrate being right
because the moment I place value on being correct
I’d undermine my newfound self-respect.
I didn’t heal thinking I was right about everything
I healed when I accepted being right didn’t mean a thing.

– Valerie Parente (3-19-2021)

No Longer Playing With Fire

No Longer Playing With Fire by Valerie Parente

She was playing with fire
for so long
so she wasn’t really sure
how to stop
igniting flames out of pain
to create art
making a hellscape from words
that came from the spark
but now that the hell she felt
is dead and gone
and it’s time for learning
in the place she taught
because when she was in pain
she felt smart
but now that there’s joy
she’s a little lost
no longer playing with fire
to light up the dark
maybe one day at a time
is a good start
leaving the ashes behind
along with the scars
because the spark has returned
to where it belongs
and no fire will run wild
for its safe in her heart.

– Valerie Parente (3-14-2021)

Graffiti

Graffiti by Valerie Parente

Like a graffiti artist
envisioning a new canvas
I saw the writing on the wall
and I was terrified me from the start.
Even though I love to paint my pain
I had never been more afraid
because I knew that space will never be pure again
I got something beautiful at a monumental expense.

– Valerie Parente (3-10-2021)

The Hurt, The Heal, The Hope

The Hurt, The Heal, The Hope by Valerie Parente

I felt myself hurt
as I reflected on the feelings that defined my past.
I felt myself heal
as I made sense of the psyche that defined my present.
And I felt myself hope
as I realized what I wanted was not what I need in my future.
This is the trajectory that permeated my inner rhythmic monologue.
This is the process that helped me uncover my faults.
This is my manifesto that I long to share with you all.

– Valerie Parente (3-2-2021)

Happy Again

Happy Again
by Valerie Parente

I would like to be happy like we were before
back when it was easier
because it’s been the end of the world
for one long year that felt like more.

I think we all lost
the innocence we once wore
back when we didn’t have to hide out of sight.
And I think we all forgot
what we used to fight for
back when we didn’t have to fight for our life.

And I don’t know if we were happier before
but it sure was easier
back when we didn’t know better
and our bad times didn’t feel like forever.

When your life was narrowed down
what did you sacrifice?
When you had to rethink your path
what became your priority?
When you thought it was the end of the world
who did you think of?

No we won’t be happy like we were before
but we’ll sure feel its worth
and when we smile again
despite all our stress
we’ll all feel a truer form of happiness.

– Valerie Parente (12-31-2020)

Actually Healed

Actually Healed by Valerie Parente

I always thought it would be a gradual process
and maybe it was and I just didn’t notice
but it seems overnight I stopped caring.
There’s opportunity to hurt but I can bare it.
And if I had one lesson to preach
it would be that you should believe
that, with time, you will heal from your heartache
and you don’t have to understand that today
but all of a sudden the loss of a relationship
will no longer have any negative connotations.
It’s over and I’m perfectly fine
and all I remember is the good times.
Now when I look back I can laugh
with absolutely no emotional strings attached.
Because I really
truly
from the bottom of my heart
have moved so far on.

– Valerie Parente (11-16-2020)

Like Fine China

Like Fine China by Valerie Parente

How can one be so strong and indestructible
yet appear like fine china, so fragile.
Royal blue details drawn on clay
art on top of an artistic display.
Breaking as I break down,
a million pieces so jagged and profound.
I could use them to separate my skin
instead I made a vase out of porcelain.
I filled the china like a beautiful bouquet
with flowers that had already decayed.
And everybody calls me a sick freak
because I can still see their beauty
but it’s them who fail to see
that dead flowers make great tea
and I’ll sip it as I grieve
remembering how it felt to be
like fine china, too pretty to comprehend
until they break me down again.

– Valerie Parente (10-5-2020)