The Lost Girl Poems

On the top shelf,
in the back of my closet,
there is an old box.
Inside, hand scrawled notebooks
and typewritten verses bear witness...
to innocence lost and love gone blind.

These are the lost girl poems;
my youth spilled across pages
yellowed from age.
And while they're not very good
it doesn't matter, because I truly was.....
Good and faithful...
filled with a kind of hope
that naive girls spend on reckless men
....until we see our riches tossed aside like loose change.

And even then....some of us stay a while longer.
Addicted to the combination of alcohol and testosterone, I imagine.
Beautiful bad boys, lost inside what appears to be full grown men.
Or maybe it's the inherent ability to see a pain so deep
we will forgive them anything.
I don't know.
I learned lots of theories about why women stay
.....after I'd gone.

In the end it was my poems that saved me.
And maybe that's why I keep them....
memory lane memorials to my survival.
It's hard to lie to yourself in black and white.
The good and the bad line up perfectly,
one eventually outweighing the other.

So my children, if you dig that box out after I am gone
don't believe a single word....
believe all of them.
See them through the eyes of youth
and the heart of hope.
Compare them to your own experiences
and maybe you'll find me there.....I did.
Before that I was as lost as anyone you'll ever know.

And maybe that's why these scraps of paper and tear stained lines
have been included with every move I've made
in the nearly thirty years since they were written.
They are a testament to how absolutely lost one can be
before the finding finally fells them.

They are like old diaries, for me.
Road maps to here,
and a passage back to the beginning.
I am neither proud of them or ashamed.
They are an honest account...
travel journals from an inner journey.

At the end of my life feel free to gather them up with these...
the tidy books of my later years,
and set them all ablaze....
my cremation complete.

Or keep them and share them with your babies someday.
Tell them this is what they come from....
hearty, reckless stock that gave love everything they had....
and  then gave Truth more.
People more invested in how they felt on the inside
than how they looked on the outside.

Anyway, they are there,
in an old box on the top shelf
in the back of my closet.
When I am gone I really don't mind you throwing them out.
For me to do it would be nothing less than sacrilege.