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Finding The Write Words

Young girl discovers that her writing loses its luster when she starts doing it for the wrong reason

She lay across the naked twin mattress That was haphazardly placed on the floor

Propping up her notebook on her bare, bony knees

Scribbling random words; trying to make them say more

Words and the wonders she could create with them

Had always been her true friends

They provided an escape from a lonely existence

And gifted her a peace few things did

The soft amber glow from two half-burned candles

Were her lone companions and only source of light

Light which had always been her one abiding muse

But now simply offered a reprieve from the night

It seemed as though the moment her pen hit paper

She would drift and become mesmerized

By the anything, and everything and nothing at all

That stirred behind her eyes

Eyes that had suddenly begun to see

The same things but in a whole new way

And her once humble and healthy aspirations

Were now obsessive ambitions of fame

She felt as though she'd been invaded

A transformation had occurred inside

Bitterness and greed had stolen her identity

And held it hostage for a dollar and a dime

And it frustrated her and saddened her

That the girl she once knew could not be found

And she had no clue of when she'd gone

As she vanished in to the darkness without a sound

So as she sat in the isolation of her bedroom

The candles melting into wax discs on her shelf

She clutched the spiral notebook and held it closely to her face

As she searched for some semblance of her self

But, she only saw white when she looked at the paper

Nothing cogent or creative was there

Only a jumble of characters carelessly thrown together

And then shredded to bits before being tossed into the air

She angrily threw the spiral across the room

And rolled lazily onto the floor

Then glanced up to meet with a curious photo

She had forgotten had been taped to her door

A ghostly image of a microphone

Hovered over a lined white pad

Words were written in bold black ink;

Their author writing as the photo was snapped

She furrowed her brows and harrumphed a bit

As she rose and walked over to the door

And snatched off the photo, tearing it a tad

Before returning to her mattress on the floor

She said no words; only stared at the photo

Till the last of the candles burned out

Then she placed it under the safety of her pillow

Before pulling on her covers to lie down

Her drift into dream was swift and most welcome

She would later thank herself for the sleep

But she suddenly found herself in the confines of a room

Not familiar yet oddly filled with peace

She stared with no reaction as she a watched a door

Materialize before her eyes

But reeled in shock when the door creaked open

And familiar faces slowly walked inside

Langston Hughes in his glorious handsomeness

Was the first to catch her eye

Distinguished and kind with a bright, warm smile

He nodded politely as he walked by

Zora Neale Hurston, as graceful as a gazelle

Was the next to meet her gaze

She wandered up to her and gave her a wink

Before turning and walking away

And Phyllis Wheatley, and Gwendolyn Brooks

Were the next to saunter inside

With the handsome James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison

Coolly following behind

And as they all filed in quickly and noisily

That small room began to come alive

And she gasped when she spied Maya Angelou

Graciously flow to the end of the line

They all seemed to be there for her benefit

For they all were alone in the place
And although she had not moved at all

She found herself in front of a stage

And she looked on in respect and amazement

As each poet stepped up to recite

Their magnificent prose, poetry and sonnets

By the orange glow of soft candlelight

Then Zora Neale Hurston so eloquently recalled

How their eyes were watching God

And Alice Walker spoke of the color purple

While Alex read how Kunta was flogged

She drowned herself in the sounds of their voices

Wrapped herself in the cocoon of their words

Adorned her skin with their iridescent adjectives

Filled up on their succulent verbs

And then before she could fall any deeper

A familiar image appeared

The curious photo that she'd snatched from her door

Had the interest of the ones she held dear

The picture was several times larger than normal

It covered the whole center wall

And as she looked more closely at the photo

She could finally make sense of it all

The words were few but the message was rife

With wisdom beyond compare

And as she read more, her teachers breezed out of the door

And she realized why they had been there

"An inspired mind is its most creative

In the company of an inspired heart

Our imagination sends us on a journey of our making

And we control its stops and starts

Our human condition will have its way

No matter our perceived transcendence

And we all seek in some way a level of acclaim

For the talents that have been placed within us

But, do not become this microphone

A phantom and translucent prop

You are the bold black words behind it

Don't be erased by acid raindrops

Know that both you and your words have worth

Whether or not you shine with the stars

You must always drink from your most authentic well

You must never forget who you are"


She sat back to consider the words she’d just read

And she knew that her wrongs were now right

And she noticed that her eyes were being softly tugged at

By a white and purifying light

She blinked several times before opening her eyes

And she was back in her small little room

Staring at the peeling popcorn ceiling

Awash in the glow from the moon

She smiled broadly and reached under her pillow

And retrieved that torn photograph

And she realized that her words had found their way home

And so had she, at last

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