My Story

My Story * by Nancy Schatz Alton

Put your stories down, they say—

they are too heavy

and they make you angry.

 

You want a prettier word

for make. Furthermore

you want the I.

 

The I of your stories

to say,

It happened to me.

 

Oh life, you gave me

this grief

and I wore it.

 

I curled up

with it

in my bed

 

and I worried

it not to sleep

but to wake

 

to be endlessly

awake

with the worry

 

of my own death

am I dying?

No.

 

I am lying in bed

I am not lying:

It hurts.

 

I hurt.

Learning of death

always hurts.

 

Age 13

or older

it stops you

 

in your tracks

as others wake up

and see to their days

 

there’s no explaining

what gripped you all

those years.

 

It’s why you love

the Buddhists

for their thoughts on suffering.

 

Yet you,

no I,

I have

 

a solid understanding

of suffering

life gone too soon

 

stories that will

-stop anyone- from living

outside of their bed

 

if they think too much.

These stories

are mine.

 

I tell them

because I want to

live outside my home.

 

I am telling

my story

to save my life.

 

*I wrote this piece after being inspired by “Imperatives for Carrying On in the Aftermath” by Natasha Trethewey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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