There I was. Confident and ready….and then I began to read my life story in poetry form. As I began to read the second poem I had chosen, out of six, I reverted back to being a small child. She became exposed through my hands and mouth; even the poetry I’d known so well became something I had to read line for line.
I read all six poems, all relating to abuse, and I immediately stepped outside. The fresh air hit me instantly, and reminded me that I was an adult again. I was approached by many that offered support, and genuinely understood why I felt the need to expose myself, through words, as openly as I did.
When I returned home my husband asked if reading the poetry truly helped me, and I confirmed that it does. “Just because it isn’t easy doesn’t make it negative.” That’s the best way I can describe why I’m doing what I’m doing.
It exists whether I speak of it or not. I’d be a poet whether or not I ever write it down. I cannot begin to place all the things I don’t understand in boxes and pack them away, so I write.
These are the reasons I’m a poet; there is no choice, and I’m thankful of that. Why would I want a choice in something so obviously meant to be? I’m alive because of it, and so very blessed that I am. And when I say alive, I don’t just mean that I’m living….I mean I’m LIVING!
©2014 Angela M. Carter
(Reading at Collins Center 18th Annual Sexual Assault Awareness month event)