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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trauma's poetry

My daughter has been working on a multi-genre English project for the past few weeks, one of those "Let's write several things in different formats but focus on one topic" assignments. My 7th. grader had to write a poem, a non-fiction piece, a fiction piece, and a free choice piece. She's a hard worker and she loves to write so no problem there. Doesn't sound so terrible, right?

And it wouldn't have been...except our girl decided her topic should be her early years in Kazakhstan...and as a result, she has spent the past few weeks revisiting her first 6 years of life. Not an easy thing for a kid with PTSD. I have to admit I suggested maybe she should  change her topic because I knew this would stir up some demons but my girl refused to be deterred. The demons have stirred as predicted...it's been pretty intense. We've had tears (ours and hers) but also some healing as she has struggled to process her memories. I have to say that I'm so proud of my girl; I'm awed by her strength and by her writing. In fact, I was so touched by her work that I asked her permission to share a bit of it here. The author has graciously consented to let me post her poem about her parents in Kazakhstan.

Mommy was short
Daddy was tall
Mommy was drunk
And Daddy had a fall,

Broke his leg
And got gangrene and died
Mommy couldn’t stop drinking even though she tried
Daddy was cool
Mommy was not
Even though I lost them young
I miss them a lot

Every word the truth...every word her own. If you read it without shedding a tear, you're made of tougher stuff than I am.


Joann said...

Wow, that's amazing. Good for her - and for you guys.

Elisa LaSota said...

Tanya...I cannot even think of any words that would
be as profound or heartfelt. The little girl that didn't
know a word of English in first grade has become a
young woman of strength and pride. How very very
proud I am of you!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! <3