A poem describing the start of a new academic year, and the beauty to be found in it
A new school year often inspires students to be better, do better and become better. But personal growth doesn’t need a calendar event in order to happen, as it can always take place if we let it. Ally Turner’s poem reminds us of the revelations that can be found in even the most mundane of moments. Turner is in her third year of creative writing at Concordia.
The Long Shadow of a Small Thing
Chewing bubblegum like there is some kind of answer at the core of it. Standing on the side of the big road and feeling the energy of each driver as they go by you. There is no point in asking, we are just suspended in it. The blue, the stretching pink, the colour that comes through you in a way that is non-physical.
You walk into your apartment and say to your roommate that you transcended gravity tonight – that the sky lived inside of you. You go into your room and cry because every time you try to tell what is happening to you it sounds empty.
In September there is a heat wave that lasts two weeks. It is hotter than the dead of August; the pool is busy, the bodies like crystal embroidery. There is only one way to feel safe in this world and it happens when you can forget what you are. At the belly of the pool, you sit for as long as you can until there are fizzy dots behind your eyes. You fall asleep poolside while your friends talk about some drummer.
You eat the dinner that you made together in the kitchen and don’t look at each other. You eat three noodles with each bite. You pace your fork back and forth over the plate as if action will trigger result. It doesn’t matter what is happening around you because it is all in your head. One minute you are real, the next you are just staring at the wall with shiny eyes. I don’t know why it happens like this but it does and that is the important part.
When will it settle? I search the treetops for an overwhelming sense of beauty. I close my eyes and try to focus on the breeze on my face. Every moment feels like the build up to something terrible. I am awaiting the pinnacle that never arrives. My hair is falling out in chunks.
In my dream I am trapped in a cell that is shaped like my body except the skin is rubbery and pallid. I open my eyes and I am in the park and there is a great emptiness. I swallow nothing into the pit of nothing. I look up at the blue through the leaves and it is brimming.
This creative writing piece was brought to you with the help of Annah-Lauren Bloom.
Graphic by Florence Yee