I am a poet with two worlds

“I had to grow up quite fast. While my mom went to work, I became a second mom to my little brother and I started to cook and babysit him when I was eight. My childhood didn’t really exist in real life. It existed in my head though. I went off to explore worlds that weren’t my own and I would read books constantly whenever I could. It was a way of escaping my own reality. I was the kind of person who would put all my problems aside and keep going every day, waiting to return to my fantasy world. I would always say, ‘Come on, it’s not that bad, you’ll be grand!’ I never really acknowledged it, but I always had anxiety. When I was worried, it would go crazy in my head, circling around in there without a possible solution, I would start biting my nails and I would predict the worst outcomes of any situation. It got to the stage where I would have panic attacks. My brain would turn against me and it would interrupt my mind by constantly asking to solve all unsolvable issues in my head. I would chase people who don’t understand my value, as I didn’t understand my own either. I always wrote. It was always part of me. Being a poet is not separate from myself, because out of me the poetry flows. I was lucky to find somebody who I could trust enough to completely fall apart. And boy, did I fall apart… I was a mess, but he supported me from the very beginning to restructure myself from the bottom. He supported me through therapy, he supported me through my dark times and he helped me to face and solve the unsolvable issues in my head. He helped me to understand that there is nothing wrong with me and to value myself for what I am. I am a poet with two worlds. They are now in peace and both are amazing inside and out.“

Poem: Felispeaks
Illustration: mr steve mccarthy illustration

Poem: How about us?

And who will march for us?
For the desert flowers that have pieces of their pleasures parted from them,
Held down by mothers with shaky hands who fight but with blades of protection,
Stomping out their growing sprouts,
Destroying their own.

And who will march for us?
For cloaked women who have been served the sentence of inferiority,
Long before they could speak.
For cloaked women with voices like megaphones whose cries echo
Freedom between each strike.
For hooded sisters who abuse girls with eyes full of hope, once like theirs,
This is no place for such rebellion.
For hooded sisters who have been given the mantle of shame,
Wishing death would find them healthy.

And who will march for us?
For baby girls who have been sold as cattle, their virtue found to be too costly.
For baby girls who are dragged to husbands’ homes without their training wheels on.
For daughters, whose thighs have been pried open by fathers who were never taught how to
be men.
For daughters who sell their bodies because poverty the pimp demands so.

Who will march for us?
For girls who are fattened, bred and fed for men whose appetites fill like basket water,
Devoured by never enough.
For girls who can point out pain in the alphabet but cannot spell out their own name.
For girls, whose identities are buried under the smoke of a kitchen stove,
High on the opportunity to serve, at least.
For girls, whose blood boil hot for freedom but remain with bound feminine feet,
For girls who only have dreams of holding a book, not knowing they can be women like
Maya Angelou, Kishwar Naheed, J.K. Rowling, Alice Walker, Dannielle Steele,
Chimamanda Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri,

Who will march for us?
Who will fight for us?
Who will cry for us?

I will.
I will.
March for them.
Ireland, Please, March with me.