Dear Words

Dear Words,

You’re long.  You’re short.  You can astound us and smash us to minuscule pieces.  We string you together and you define our identity.  I find myself obsessing over how to order you in every page, every paragraph.  I exhaust you throughout the day with both my mouth and pen.

They say to use ‘kind’ words.  But what does that mean?  In my mind, I see that you are nothing but a tool.  I spit you out in red-hot fury.  My body racks with sobs, and you come out in choking gasps.  Biting my lip, you flow awkwardly out from my smile.  Disjointed and full of life, you bubble out alongside laughter.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from both life and writing, it is that you are what we make of you.

So, here it is:

I’m sorry for using you in anger, and I’m sorry for making you trip over yourself when I’m flustered.  I am deeply sorry for using you as a sword, but I won’t apologize for making them laugh.  I’m not sorry for brightening their day, or making them feel better about themselves.  For making people think, accept, and luxuriate in life.  The world is a beautiful place covered with scars and filled with equally scarred and beautiful people.  Your very existence gives us the opportunity and obligation to make the world a better place.

Thank you.

– Nita Pan

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Hey Courtney

Hey Courtney,

Didn’t you see the way he broke

After his parents wrapped around that tree?

The blank slate of his face when you said it was on purpose.

Did you cry when they found that boy’s body floating on the lake?

Hey Courtney,

How many times did you throw cupcakes at Alison H.?

Did you get a kick when she slit her wrists and nearly died?

 Hey Courtney,

Your heart is a box that hasn’t been unlocked in so long.

Can’t you feel anything?

When you’re having sex with your best friend’s ex are there any regrets?

The videotape he made recorded everything.

Hey Courtney,

The tape wasn’t the only thing made that night.

Hey Courtney,

Even though you should feel lost and alone

You’re too busy drinking your worries away.

Don’t you see that if you keep this up the baby won’t be okay?

Hey Courtney,

You drive to the clinic to get something done

About that baby bump.

Hey Courtney,

Were you sober enough to see the headlights?

Hey Courtney,

Shadows dance before your eyes.

Your whole body aches and you finally worry about the other life inside.

You’re wheeled to the maternity ward.

Vomit stains the hospital floor.

You scream as they yell push!

Hey Courtney,

Cradling that piece of magic in your aching arms,

You think to yourself that nothing could go wrong.

Hey Courtney,

You don’t care that he has his father’s eyes.

All you see is that God sent you an angel in disguise.

Your life’s on a new course;

You’ll say you’re sorry to all you’ve wronged.

Thinking of the drowning, you hold up the babe.

“Daniel-James is your name.”

But, hey Courtney,

Daniel-James was three months early.

Courtney,

Can’t you see that this isn’t the end?

Even though he’s entangled in tubes, he’ll be alright.

You’ll be alright.

Copyright © 2016 by Nita Pan

All rights reserved.  This post or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

A Better Way

Around the back of the building

There’s a group of teens getting high

There’s got to be a better way

To escape

In the parking lot

There’s two strangers making love

There’s got to be a better way

To release

Hiding in the library

There’s a student killing himself with his studies

There’s got to be a better way

To succeed

Sitting at the back of the classroom

There’s a girl hiding under a hood

There’s got to be a better way

To live

Somewhere in your neighborhood

There’s a school with screwed up kids

There’s got to be a better way

To grow up

Copyright © 2016 by Nita Pan

All rights reserved.  This post or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

Nobody Cares

Chaos,

Fires raging.

Life.

Diseases sweeping the nations.

People dying.

Women crying

As their children are swept

Into a world

Where the past is all but lost.

Forgetting where you come from

May be the biggest crime of all.

It’s hard to keep going on

Because I can’t find any good songs.

They’re all about making love

At the bar,

In the street on the car.

There’s no dignity anymore.

‘Cause saving yourself is ‘Old Fashioned.’

No one cares

If they get STDs.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

Copyright © 2015 by Nita Pan

All rights reserved.  This post or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

Too Different

“Be yourself.  No one else can be you.”

“Be unique!”

“You’re so original!”

“Why are you so…  different?

Wait, what?

“Why can’t you be like everyone else?”

“Normal people don’t dress like that.”

“God, you’re such a freak.”

To this day, I hear people compliment my uniqueness and the very same say that I’m too different.

Whatever that means.

I could go on a huge rant about how society conditions young people from childhood to be a certain way, and once they grow up, they’re an adequate example of society.  But the goal of this post is to get my message across in less that two hundred words.

Everyone is different and there will always be those who cut you down for it.

That’s the truth of it.

But guess what?

The same person who says you’re too different is being tormented for being unique, whether that torment is self-inflicted or not.

Be kind, shrug off the negative comment, and embrace the positive ones.

Be ‘too different.’

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