The Girl Raised Wrong

This is the childhood fear
Of a sweet little girl raised wrong
To wake screaming from nightmares of sirens
And shudder away from men in uniform
To hide under the stairs at a knock on the door.
Now, as a grown woman
She walks the city streets with frozen eyes
Deep inside the child still sobs
And fear as ancient as god himself
Still tears her joy from lips that dared,
Just once, to smile.



From this window, I can see the stars
I pull back the emerald curtains and stare at those distant lights for the longest time
Amongst the millions, I find my friends and greet them by name
To the collection of five bright stars, “Good evening, Cassiopeia.”
To the lone wanderer, “Hello, North Star.”
And to the sprawled constellation that occupies much of the night sky – “Bless you, Orion: the mighty hunter.”

These are the same stars I can see from my bedroom window at home, and being able to find them now is reassuring
My world may be shifting under my feet, sending me reeling in directions I’ve never been – but the stars are constant
From her window at home, my mother looks out to these same stars
In my mind’s eye I can see her
She gazes out, her greying hair pulled back with a brightly coloured headscarf, searching the sky for a sign of me
Her wise eyes reflect the heavens, and she is beautiful
I know that this is my imagination, but it eases my homesickness a little
No matter how far I wander from where I’m supposed to be, at least the stars will watch over me and guide me home
That night, when at last I blew out my candle, I slept easier than I had in months
Above me, the stars turned in the sky, and that stranger’s bed felt just a little more like home

Top Ten Terrors

  1. Embarrassing myself publically
  2. Losing my eyesight
  3. Being in pain for a long time – I don’t mind pain as long as there’s something I can do about it
  4. Exams
  5. Losing someone I love
  6. Telling my crush I like them
  7. Losing my memory – I am made by my experiences, so losing my memory would be like losing myself
  8. Losing an argument (in my head, I am clear, coherent, compelling and confident. In real life I am a nervous wreck so if I have a point to prove and someone disagrees with me I let them take over as its far easier)
  9. In scary movies when a death is set up so you can see it coming… the anticipation of that death makes it seem a million times worse when it comes
  10. Those people that you can’t figure out – everyone is a riddle and when you can’t solve someone you’ll always be uncomfortable around them