.22

My father wants to teach me how to shoot

He says it’s a good skill for a young woman to have

Last night, I tried to shotgun a beer

I know that wasn’t what he meant

But I’m so used to using my own body as target practice

It just made sense

Last night, I wanted to be invincible

So, I drank too much

And walked on glass

And said I did not need him

And woke up with bloody knuckles and a dry a mouth

Swollen knees and ripped pants

I pretend to be invincible

But I am afraid of so many things

Of letting people get too close

Of them leaving

And hurting me

Every time I bleed, I laugh

And pretend the pain is not there

The scars and bruises will go away

But knowing you are unwanted by the person you want the most

That is my biggest fear

On Becoming the Church Bag Lady

I wear him on my sleeve

I still feel him

Holding me down

So heavily

Not like a brick

But like a gallon of milk

A fresh bag of groceries

A newborn child

We carry so much weight on our shoulders

We can’t even call the bag ladies bag ladies anymore

Because we’ve all turned into bag ladies

You carry your past on your back

Your future in your hands

And you’re not even sure where to put your present

You lose it so often

It seems less and less important

Eventually it will become part of your past

Like your scars

And his hands

Eventually you will have too many bags to carry

And secrets to keep

And stories to remember

But eventually you will be okay

Stronger

No longer fueled by your hate for him

No longer weighed down

By all that you carry with you

Everyday





Annisha Montgomery is a recent graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. Though she was first introduced to poetry and spoken word in the 8th grade, it was her time at the Mount that pushed her to write and share her poems with her professors and peers. She hopes to publish her own book someday.

Image by Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40699786

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