Keya is a high school student who had an assignment in her poetry class: write a letter to poetry. But never mind that this was a school assignment, because her letter is something I wish I had written when I was in high school.
I won’t say she is an aspiring poet — she is a poet. With several publications credits already, and the ability to put into a words a letter like this, she’s past the word “aspiring”.
She tackles difficult subjects in her poetry, and she is an advocate for social justice.
We are the high school couple that broke up because college got in the way and long distance relationships are tough. We then later got back together because we need each other the way I need a breath of fresh air. I need to know that you’ll always be there listening to me and letting me trust you in a way that I can trust no one else.
I met you in second grade and if it wasn’t for that teacher who made me love learning, then I never would have fallen in love with you and I don’t know what I would be doing late at night as I wrestle my emotions, wondering why it’s so hard to understand myself.
We’ve gone through different phases. I hated you when I had to analyze you and when I couldn’t connect to you. Some English teachers ripped you apart so much that I had to piece you back together into something that I thought was beautiful. I tried haikus and limericks and finally settled on a combination of prose and free verse to some sort of rhythm. I fall in love with you every time I grab my pen. I sit in class waiting for the bell to ring just so I can spend time with you. You’re freeing. You’re unique, without a strict set of rules that I have to obey.
We took a break once. I guess I just didn’t know where you fit into my life. There was not enough passion in my heart to spend time with you, but that does not mean that I ever stopped loving you. I had one poem that I was proud of and that was it. That was the end of my writing career, but just for the mean time, until I hit middle school.
I hear people complain about you and my heart breaks into two. I tell them that it doesn’t have to be a giant metaphor that’s deep and profound, but they don’t believe me. They still have the incomprehensible stanzas in their heads that someone long ago made them analyze. It doesn’t have to be like Shakespeare’s sonnets, I tell them. I say that you can be anything. I say you’re art and magic all at once. You’re what gets me through the bad days. You are my coping mechanism.
Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. You are effortless until it comes to editing. I don’t have control when I spend time with you. My pen has control over me. The words just come and flow like the tides and it scares me that after a couple months my entire journal is full. Our relationship has become unhealthy. I’m too addicted to you. I would crash without you. I fall…hard when I cannot be with you. I need you. I’ll always need you. I love you.
I wish I had the clear mind in high school to realize I didn’t hate poetry, to remember that I used to love it, to realize that the way it is being taught in schools is what makes it difficult to grasp.
Keya’s Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/wordsstrungtogether