I have sketched black lines on white walls-
With one charcoal piece broken
By force from my own soul.
I drew a cruel teacher in childhood:
Her nose sharp, two nasty eyebrows
Intimidating the seven year old me.
Cruelty became easier to sketch as I grew
Older, there were many around to stare at.
One black smudge for a woman’s comment, barbed
With envy and mockery-
One slanting cut on the cheek for his snub
That slashed my self confidence;
Oh that scratch? That was for the man
Who dared me to dream beyond him.
Then that stroke with a deft hand
For a dream that turned sour,
For betrayal and for pain.
That last curving line you stare at..ah,
That one for the love that came quiet
And standing gently by my side,
Asked for my piece of charcoal
So he could complete one half
Of a smile I had started and left
Long, long ago.