My Walls

My walls are thick, concrete, windowless, without breeze
High, impenetrable, shutting out all light, sound, feeling
to see the schmutz that stains them
the blood and tears streaking like paint
from the outside they
are decorative
rock encrusted
brightly colored
festooned with humor, light and dreams
hiding well the hurt
that went into the building
They have been built, stick by stick, stone by stone
broken bone by broken bone
but what holds my walls together
are the words
that childish sing songs
shout will never hurt me
but do

They are there because of the words, painful, lasting,
lodged like a thorn under the fingernails of my mind
my walls keep out
well meaning people
who don’t understand
can’t stand to see
refuse to nurture, feed, or tend

Inside my walls, where no one can see, and no one can touch
and no one can hate
the garden thrives
rich, fragrant, festuned with sound
the music of grackles and owls
singing to the backdrop of
the river running through my soul
flowers burst from cement cracks
no need of soil
fed by tears
growing in the sunlight
of my never ending dreams

Here, inside my walls
I dare to ply my craft
though the ridicule remains, ringing in my ears.
here, where I can hide from the hurt and the sting
of words that will always hurt me
I can sing my songs
write the words that scatter through my brain
and try to turn
my walls
into windows


(Response to an AllPoetry contest)

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