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2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month



Jem Farmer

Rite of Passage...........Prose

Standing at the threshold, nothing has changed. The same smells, the same wallpaper, the same people, and the same little chips in the paintwork. All so familiar. Ornaments, trashy souvenirs from Blackpool stand in the places they have always stood, time has no meaning here.

Picture on a wall, a girl in a pretty dress with distant eyes. She used to be me but has now ceased to be. Absorbed by realities of time, of truth, and sexuality. Yet still there are similarities to the woman I am now.

Courage opens the door to my family, my loved ones. The words are said. Dad shakes his head with my shame in his eyes, Mother screams as she slaps my face but her words hit harder and my brothers whisper prejudicial rage.

Like a guilt weary prisoner, there is no escape. In a moment I have been cast out, forever a mere bystander at the weddings, the loner at the funerals, only ever observing their rites of passage, begging to be let back in but no longer heard.

This is where I grew up, my home. Where I was nurtured, where I took my first steps and where I said my first words. A place of childhood laughter, once filled with love, now filled with melancholic tears. No more the rushing tiny feet, no more childish laughter, no more love.

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