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)