Seventeen

Trigger Warning: Mention of Suicide

 The sea in the air, your gaze blue as the sky’s
An ocean about to break from behind your eyes
Between your quiet sobs, you hold your breath
Asking God from this despair to release—for a sunlit death

The cage of your heart begins to show
Your secret pain displayed for all to know
You run from your shadow through the night
You think you’re strong but you’re ghostly white

Wishing you were in his arms, crying every day
You’re seventeen and I know what you will say
You wait forever wretched—“I can’t feel free”
Your life fades but I know all you could be

I know everything that is going to transpire
People will not listen and many will become a liar
They will betray you and break your trust
Abuse your heart and claim to be just

Wishing you were in his arms, crying every day
You’re seventeen and I know what you will say
You did not plan for these tears to fall
You never meant for this to happen at all

And you would say “You are not the same
You are tired angry and you blame”
You would watch me wink blazing like a star
I would smile, “With help you will go far

You will grow into a strong and confident soul
With belief in yourself—a woman who is whole
As the power and fire inside ignite
Who you are will set your life alight”

7 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the needed and powerful poetry. I lost two brothers to suicide, years ago. No-one knew they were struggling. Maybe if we listen more and talk less. Maybe we could of saved them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome for the poetry, and I’m glad that it meant something to you. Your kind words make me glad that I published it. I wanted to write something that expresses how I felt when I had anorexia at seventeen. I considered not eating to be self-harm, and would have suicidal ideation. Now I look back and am horrified that I lived through such a nightmare–that I could have let the bad voice in my head win and kill me. I was only seventeen. Only one person knew I was struggling, and we were in a long-distance relationship. Everyone around me–the people I lived with–didn’t notice even when I asked for help. I was told that I was too strong to have anorexia. At eighteen I was still in crisis and heard back from a lovely person on a helpline. The later part of the poem is inspired by what she said. She showed me true empathy and asked me to hold onto the power and fire inside, and to keep believing in myself. I’m very sorry for your losses. A good song which could be interpreted to be about preventing suicide is “Light of Love” by Florence and the Machine in which there are the lyrics, “Don’t go blindly into the dark / In every one of us shines the light of love.” And you are very right–listening is so important. It’s letting someone feel seen, and their pain recognised.

      Liked by 1 person

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