Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I Put on Black

I put on black,
My head I bow.
You like me now.
You like me now.

I put away my chartreuse scarf,
And colored things I used to wear.
My second piercings now are bare,
I gel down my unruly hair.

I do not have a lot to say.
My makeup now is quite subdued.
I seem to cook a lot of food,
I don’t go swimming in the nude.

I nod and murmur when I should,
I shut my mouth, my thoughts I still,
My questions and my quirks I kill--
My secret longings none can fill.

The ward is suddenly so kind.
I’m not as different now, you see!
A call has been extended me
To teach Relief Society.

Sedately I walk down the aisle,
The Bishop’s wife sits by my side,
She nods at me; you smile with pride,
I feel a tearing deep inside.

I clean the toilets and the hall,
Read stories to my sweet sunbeams.
We never argue now, it seems.
I wonder where I put my dreams.

Your temple marriage now is safe,
You hold my hand that wears the ring.
I never dance, I never sing,
You would not notice such a thing.

I’m all in black,
I’ve kept my vow,
You like me now,
You like me now.

But this is what
You do not see:
I don’t like me,
I don’t like me.


Anonymous said...

I don't get it....

Deborah said...

I do, and it's wrenching. Read it three times and offered up some kind of prayer the Vernal direction.

I love love love that your blog is back up though. I love your voice out here on the web. And I hope you'll still think about hanging out with us at ExII -- you know our e-mail for guest posts . . .

(Mind if I link to this in Virtual Oases or are you looking to be low-profile for a while?)

Caroline said...

Wow. What an eloquent expression of someone burying integral parts of oneself.

Remember that you have kindred spirits over at Exponentblog. Visit us whenever you feel the need to be you. :)

John said...

I totally get this. This was my song once, not too long ago.

I don't want to exacerbate things, but I still have this Langston Hughes poem in my cubicle:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

My prayers are with Deborah's. And I'm glad that you're back. My heart sank when I first discovered that the tokolob site was down. Please don't go anywhere.

Bored in Vernal said...

Deborah, I was just hiding for a while. Usually if you lay low in this Church they forget about you and find other things to do. I'd like to be on Virtual Oases. I guess I can't hide for very long now that I know people in Vernal know how to use Google.

John, You brought back memories...my dad took me to see Raisin in the Sun when I was 12. What a powerful play.

AmyB said...

That poem was gut-wrenching and moved me to tears.

I'm glad to see you back, and I'm adding my prayers to Deborah's. We desperately need people with unruly hair, less subdued make-up and extra piercings around to make things lively and interesting.

nee said...

I am sorry this is your burden.

Mark G. said...

Wow that poem was incredible. It totally describes where I am right now and the decisions I have to make these days (sans the earrings, of course).

Thank you for this poem that actually helps me understand myself better.

Ann said...

That was wonderful.

Thank you for letting us read it.

m_and_m said...

Dear BiV,
My heart goes out to you. It is so very hard when dreams lay shattered at your feet. It is so very hard to not feel liked "as is." I have felt that kind of pain in my own way in my own life, in ways that no one would ever know. I'm sorry this is all so hard. I will send prayers your way as well.

A question (not an answer! :) ) that comes to mind is, "Is this a form of sacrifice that can be sanctified by the Lord? If it is a form of sacrifice (which is what it feels like to me...you putting something you want on the altar for the sake of your vows), what do you think God things about this?"

Knowing what you know about me, you might find it surprising that a part of me wants to march down to Vernal and give someone (not you!) a piece of my mind. As much as I'm passionate about the things I'm passionate about, I believe in agency and the idea of choosing ones path without being smothered, feeling forced to change. But there is also much at stake and I suspect that is why you have chosen this path for now. If this is a form of sacrifice on your part, perhaps there is a way that God can bring you peace in the process and consecrate your afflictions for your good? (Was that close enough to another question? :) ) I don't even know if this is coming across right. I'm so sorry again.

m_and_m said...

I guess a more succinct comment would have been that there are simply no easy answers for this whole thing, and even for someone who doesn't thrive on answers, I suspect that it's hard to feel like there is no choice that is without "black" in some form that you would have to face. Again, you will be in my prayers. And, again, my heart goes out to you.

Bored in Vernal said...

M&M, You are very insightful. There is indeed much at stake.

Steve M. said...

Beautiful poem. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I found this poem posted on NOM. I have now read it so many times, I've lost count. I cannot believe how profoundly it has touched me. Thank you so much for sharing this. What a gift.
Thank you.


ZD Eve said...

Bored in Vernal, this is heart-wrenching. I so wish I could say anything comforting.

I've thought about you a lot lately. Like Deborah, I'm glad you're back.

Seraphine said...

I've started to write about 10 different comments, and I've deleted them all because I'm not sure what to say.

Thank-you for a beautiful, heart-rending poem. I am so sorry you are facing this dilemma. My prayers are with you.

Buck said...

Your poem demonstrates again how very valuable you are to the blogshere. You captured something that hit many of us hard and deep.

Coincidentally, I spent years in Altera, where my father was principle of the school. We then moved to town (Roosevelt) and I lived there for grades 1-3. I was told I couldn't continue the tap and ballet classes I loved in kindergarten and the previous summer. People would wonder. I couldn't stray because "The Utes will get you." All was darkness. Then when I was in 3rd grade the Soviet's launched Sputnik. I started to dream again we'd watch it blinking as it passed the millions of stars and I dreamed of the light. My mother reminded me that it, like the rest of life, is dark and remember my great-grandmother died. Also my babysitter died. There was no hope.

50 years later I create my own light to rescue me from the dark places. But it's important to hear about them again. Thanks for such a fine expression.

Bored in Vernal said...

Buck, Thanks for visiting me. I enjoyed following your link and learning more about you, and reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

This poem makes me sick.

I wish people would learn that when they are "suffocating" themselves, the only thing benefitting are their own agendas.