Monday, December 1, 2014

Bravery (Now)

I can't sleep.

This isn't unusual, and there are only 450,329 reasons why I can't sleep...but that's not important.

The important thing is that I can't sleep, and I'm tired of grading papers.  So tired of grading papers.  Effing papers.

So...I graded 20 papers tonight.  I have 8 more in this round.  28 is a lot of students.  Next time, I'm going with Scantron.  Or hiring an official Grading Assistant.  Except nobody would ever want that job, because grading sucks.

When I can't sleep and I stop grading, my mind gets Busy.  This is the result of the Busy mind tonight.  It is decidedly not a kickass poem, and pieces are borrowed from something I wrote before...but it's about the fact that I've decided that one can overstep ones capacity for bravery.  I think I've done that lately.  (Or perhaps life has overstepped my capacity for bravery).  (Or maybe both).  Or maybe, even as I'm 11 months in, I'm still doing this bravery thing wrong.

Or maybe I just hate it.  Maybe it's been 11 months, and in spite of repeated exposure and practice, I still just hate being brave.

Or maybe I hate it at 1:45AM after a string of Hard Days.  Maybe just that.

Stupid bravery.  I'm so over you.  January (and my new intention for the year) can't get here soon enough.  I'm about to leave bravery in the dust.

Bravery (Now)

Thinking it was time
she ripped off the band-aid of a security blanket.
Believing it would hurt less sooner,
rather than later,
she told herself this later was already late,
turned her head, held her breath
pulled it fast and hard with no hint of tenderness.
Gentle is for the weak.

There was a sting.  A tremor.  A moment when her body went still,
turned cold, colder, coldest;
then boiled hot, hotter, hottest
pulsing blood scalding her veins,
she smiled.  Pulled her body straighter to hide the trembling,
laughed, even,
believing sooner could not be too soon:
she left no choice but for better
to be now.

She hid the wound in a smile, so no one would suspect.
Mascara removed mistrust burned into her eyes,
her feet ached with the knowledge
that she could need to escape sooner,
rather than later,
but she ignored the burning, the aching, the trembling,
breathed deeply, knowing
every cell was in uniform
waiting for the order
to fire.

There is a glance.  A bump.  An unintentional touch.
An unfamiliar face.  A sound. A knock on the door
and the wound is ripped open from the inside out.
All cells unload their ammunition and reload as she stands, smiling:
no one can know that this later
was still too soon.

Hours later, she closes her eyes
heart-wounded and battle-scared
she drains the wound without words or tears
buries her burning in the blanket that envelops her
and waits again for the strength to believe
that sooner or later,
better will come.

1 comment:

  1. Grading papers is the worst. I honestly don't know why I took another teaching job when I hate grading papers so much. I would much rather just read them and make some comments, but the grading .... argh. It ruins learning for both my students and for me. I wish I didn't have to do it.