Frowning Faces & Empty Spaces

High School anthology from Teachers Preparatory School

On the gray stone wall, keeping me captive
With faces unknown, lies an empty space
Matching the feelings confned inside of me
An empty space that should be flled with smiling faces
And big warm brown eyes shining down on me
Like stars in the night sky
Yet, there are pictures in my head of frowning brown faces
Lips that are lined with “I told you sis” and dark eyes that pierce me with their disappointment
No one smiles in these haunting mental images
Not a father, not a mother, nor a sister, nor a brother
Not a grandmother, may she rest in her eternal sleep
Looking down at me with narrowed eyes, her long arms crossed over her chest
Along with a little shake of her head
Like she used to do whenever she caught me laughing and talking with my friends
When I should’ve been spending my time with her
No relative has a good thing to say
They give pity to my mother for the one daughter who ended up lost along the way
Their little hushed whispers fll my ears as I sit in this tiny space
Not with words of encouragement but words of distaste
So I hope you can now see why
I’d rather sit in the cell staring at a blank gray wall
Than at the eyes that make me feel smaller than I already am
The guilt, the pain
That all these family photos bring
Are only reminders that it is I who I have to blame

Beauty in the Shadows
High School anthology from Teachers Preparatory School (697K)
Edited by Sarah Dohrmann, Writer-in-Residence