Coloring with broken crayons
at a gathering of fellow artists
my 34-year-old self remembers trauma;
elementary school art room hallway
where personal creations
never merited placement
no matter how much effort I exerted.
Was that the first place
I learned to apologize
To internalize blame
for the wayward movements
of a body I neither chose nor controlled?
Not to do this
Not to do that.
Not to do every possible thing
if certain people got to make the rules.
Rebellion came with adolescence
I turned words into weapons
which I welded against those that bullied
without reason or regard.
I wrote words
that earned me awards, acclaim,
some measure of equality.
But with discovery of self
came banishment of crayons, markers
and moving body for enjoyment.
I lacked desire to engage
in behavior I couldn’t perfect
The loss was tangible and complete.
Periodically reclaimed during some
of life’s moments-
dancing in Oregon,
joining the gym.
I hope tonight
I’ve unlearned elementary school lessons
for the final time.