Memoir of a Southern Girl

You open the pages of books and your nails splinter

Crack freshly bound spines cruelly

Lay bare random words?

You open books

To find the messages you want to see.

If the message is not there

You imbue it into the resisting lines.

Ink smears across the page

Your heart clenches smaller inside its suffocating glove.

A truth so fresh it startles

You close the book

Place it behind college textbooks from 1963

This book is too powerful for you.

Photo by Jenny Marvin on Unsplash

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45 thoughts on “Memoir of a Southern Girl

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  1. Ah, you did it again Jaya. What a gift!

    “You open books
    To find the messages you want to see.
    If the message is not there
    You imbue it into the resisting lines.”

    Bending reality to your will when sometimes what you’re seeking is just not there, and then turning away from it because reality is “too powerful for you.” Loved it.xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, this is fab! I could hear the book spine cracking when reading. It really does embody trying to twist something to fit your own narrative and disengaging when it doesn’t. Sometimes you just have to revisit to truly understand, don’t you?
    Aimsy xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem is absolutely lovely. It reminds me of how at times we are more willing to actively listen to others, while other times we may not be as open or as capable. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this! I think it’s so true that we often search for the meaning we want rather than seeing what’s actually there.

    Tash – A Girl with a View

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can imagine this being the way so many people are inclined to read today – seeking out confirmation of their own beliefs or imaginations, forcing subtext where they’re unsatisfied. Gorgeous language as always!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This kind of reminds me of people. Sometimes, they ask for advice and only want to hear what they want to hear. It’s hard to handle the truth sometimes, and when it is written in the books, it’s hard to get it changed. I like how you described putting it behind a bunch of old college textbooks. Speaking of which, I haven’t gotten back to mine ever since! Great job on this piece!

    Nancy ✨

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sometimes we aren’t ready for the messages, even if our search has been extensive and exhaustive.
    Sometimes it takes courage to read, listen, and hear what we would rather hide on the shelf.
    Deeply moving, Jaya. πŸ’–

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great piece. Due to my lack of linguistic skill, I was wondering if I was understating this section properly: “If the message is not there, You imbue it into the resisting lines” is the implication that if we don’t find our message we create the message we want to find by reading inbetween the lines?

    Liked by 2 people

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