Today’s the day— Nick and I are moving into our first house this weekend. As summer classes start Thursday and we make our way towards sophomore year, it seems that a lot of things are changing. Little pieces of our adolescence are being left behind along the way.
Call me nostalgic or simply at a loss for how quickly time passes, I’m not sure which one is more true. But in the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, here’s a new poem for you.
These past few weeks have had me reflecting on freshman year, from the Milo protest and needs for safe spaces, to learning how to start over and figure out where we belong all over again. It got me thinking: if we were always surrounded by safe spaces, like a welcoming campus without any offense or absolute and free expression, would it make us better or would it simply shelter who we could become?
So I decided to take that thought and run with it; the direction definitely changed, but in the end, this is what I came up with. I would love to hear what you think and how you feel about the idea of “safe spaces” on college campuses. Here’s to new writing:
Even when you’re a part of it, you’re not;
you never really were.
It’s like stepping inside the circle you tried so hard to get in,
only to realize that even then,
you still stand out.
So you wonder, what’s the point?
Why bother pushing against walls you know
will never crumble,
if every time you go left they tell you to go right?
So you take those rights and yet somehow you’re still wrong
and in every mirror you see reflected back at you
all the ghosts of your past. And in the corner
the skeletons are spilling out of the closet door ajar—
the closet you don’t dare step out from, for the inside…
Well, it’s comfortable there, it’s safer there,
so you keep telling yourself.
Yet it begs the question:
when in your life has a safe space ever stayed that way?
For when you’re right, you’re still wrong,
and when you’re in, you will always stand out.
Because in your bones you know those spaces never existed.
They were never really safe.
But if a child cries out in a place they believe to be safe
and nobody is around to hear it,
does it ever really matter if they even cried out
to make any sound