Poem by Quinn Mansperger

Waiting for the Sky to Change

I hate beginning this without knowing where to start
Sitting beneath your canopy, orange
lantern light illuminating my pen. Blue ink
scratching out the words that don’t exist yet
Pausing at the tip of my pen as my brain stumbles
upon that one word. That leaves me hurting me more
than your candles and their dripping wax
when they burn my toes

Sometimes I forget the feeling
of the night sky pressing down upon my shoulders
Pouring stardust into my shoes that keep me trapped
in place. Long enough for those unsaid words
to catch up with me. Reminding me of that internal battle
a game of tug of war, a flip of a coin deciding whether or not
that now is the time to admit that it is
me against I

Elven Tree, I tried to be like you
I tried to carry the weight of everyone else’s toxic thoughts
I tried to hold their lanterns off the ground so that their demons
can’t extinguish their light. But my roots
aren’t strong like yours and my branches
have no room left for my own lantern

I thought I was strong enough to carry their weight
Believed that I was powerful like the skyscrapers
reaching higher and higher into the night sky until
their spires touch the stars. But every time I raise it
just a little higher. Add one more floor to my building
so that when I fall, I fall a little further
and I fall worse than I ever have

Did you also tell the others that you would be there
to help pick them up when they fell? That you would
not allow them to be consumed by the moment
where they take in the fact that they were not good enough
to reach the stars and that is why they left us in darkness

Did you tell them that everything is temporary
That you and I are temporary. That the words I can’t write
are temporary. That the expectations I hold myself to everyday
are temporary. If this is your wisdom
the reason for why perfect doesn’t last
Then I need you to answer me why
Why does it hurt so much to finally say the things I need to tell myself

That I deserve to be alright
That I’m my closest friend and only have to reintroduce myself to him
Treat him a little better cause he is with me till the end
When my lantern finally burns out upon your scared ground
and the stars return to the night sky

Quinn Mansperger is a sophomore majoring in Creative Writing here at New England College. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games and baseball. He has a Yorkshire terrier named Chewie (yes. just like Chewbacca from Star Wars.) He has an older twin sister and two younger twin sisters.

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