2009 -- 2.1 (Fall) Poetry

Queen of Veneer

Lost and found queen of veneer;

You look pretty, gorgeous

On the outside of your shell.

Your truth is a beautifulsnail.

You are slimy, and you leave a trail

Behind your steps.

Your reputation intrigues me, for

I share your pain.

You wake in the morn, shower and dress;

There are holes in your jeans: one in both knees

And one under a cheek.

You don a white tank under a black same

With a tear under your chest.

You sit on the corner of your bed,

Slip your Converse on

With permanentmarker writings on the white end.
Your makeup is black nail polish on the nails

And permanentmarker on the jeans.

You throw your hoodie on,

And stuff your c.d. player in your pocket.

Sticking the headphones over your ears,

And throwing the hood over your ‘phones,

You walk out the door, chin in chest

and bag over shoulder.

You sit in the back of the bus

Away from all the others

In the single-seat row.

You walk alone down the halls in school.

You eat lunch in solitude,

Whether you are with friends or not.

In gym class, you sit on the floor against the wall

With your bag between your bent knees,

And your music playing in your ears.

Those nights after school, you enter your room;

Throw off your hoodie, and black tank,

Whip off your pants and lie in your bed.

With the TV on and the headphones

Blaring in your ears;

The fight down the hall still finds it way

Into your broken soul.

You turn up the volume

And yet nothing is accomplished;

The fight still rages on.

You can hear the beer in his voice,

The liquor in her tone;

The baby crying, trying to know why

Mommy hates daddy

And daddy hits mommy.

You hear Baby’s tears weep, and scream,

They are not laughing,

This cannot be good.
You set your headphones down,

Throw open your door

And march down the hall.

You enter the kitchen, pick up Baby

Only to hear the screams behind the cigarettes,

“Where do you think you’re going with Baby?

Don’t you walk away from me, girl!”

The beer can slams on the counter;

The screams follow you down the hall,

“Get back here! You listen to me!

You wanna’ get smacked, girl?”

You shut your bedroom door behind you,

Rest on the bed with your hands

Over baby’s back and head.

You rock Baby back and forth,

Back and forth,

Eyes red and

Tears streaming down your face;

Baby wails in your ear,

The fight can still be heard.

You are at a loss;

Fifteen years you have heard such anger,

And no more can you take.

You make a crib of your dresser’s top drawer,

You lay Baby inside and wait for sleep

To befall the child.

When Baby’s eyes close, you put your

Black cargo pants on

With a studded belt.

The black hoodie is donned again,

With a black ski mask under the hood.

You stuff gloves inside your hoodie’s pocket;

Throw on ankle boots just before you leave

Through your bedroom’s window.

Tossing your hands into your sweatshirt’s pocket

You march down the street in the dark,

Hiding from people’s view.

You enter the grocery store with

Good intentions on your mind.

Picking up a bat from the sport’s good section,

You pull the mask over your face, gloves over

Your hands, and march to the clerk.

Slamming the bat on the counter you scream,

“Give me your money! All of it!”

The clerk begins to reach under the counter,

You shout, “Hands above the counter!

Open the register!” He obeys.

“Money! Give it to me!”

He opens the drawer and hands you the cash;

You stash it inside your pockets,

drop the bat, and run home.

Inside your room, you lay the dough before you.

5… 10… 15…

60… 65… 70…

125… 175… 220…

280… 335… 338…

Enough to last a few weeks.

Days go by; weeks go by;

Months go by,

And you do this over and over again.

A different store each time,

The same story every time.

Your father watches the television static,

Your mother sleeping at her

Mother’s on the weekends.

You and Baby left to fend alone.

You feed Baby, you bathe Baby,

You hold Baby, you change Baby,

You rock Baby, You love Baby!

What will turn the tide?

What will open everyone’s eyes?

When will this war end?

When will it end!?

Who can save you?

Who can take off your darkness?

Who can remove that mask?

Who will see the beauty deep within you?

Who will see your pain?

Who will feel your pain?

Who is willing to hold you?

Who is willing to love you?

Who will be the first to see

Your beautiful, permed hair?

Who will notice the color of your eyes?

Who will feel the gentle touch of your hand,

The tender hold in your hug,

Or the warmth of your lips?

What person is quick to run

Their fingers along your cheek

And through your hair?

It is I! It is I!

I will love you!

I will hold you when you cry,

I will be your reason not to say goodbye.

I will be there when you are in need.

So please, see my hand

Reaching out to rescue;

And notice the look in my eyes,

The teardrop crying for you,

And pupils screaming, “I am here,

If only you will let me!”

And listen to my voice

Whispering to you in the darkness,

“You are worth more than this.

You are worth fighting seas to discover new land,

You are worth trekking mountains, searching for gold,

You are worth wartime, to give you freedom,

You are worth dreaming over,

You are worth time,

You are worth a phone call,

You are worth a letter,

A song, a poem, a toast,

You are worth a hug, a kiss,

You are worth holding hands with,

You are worth all the love in the world,

You are worth walking Calvary over,

You are worth having a friend near…

Oh blessed Queen of Veneer.

P.J. German