Layers. {spoken word poetry}


We are born into this world with very little to worry about.

Up until birth, we are enclosed in a safe and warm place.

There is no such thing as worry, insecurity or popularity. There is just space,

and no concept of time passing.

Then, the day comes when you can no longer be held in any more.

It is time to break free from the sanctuary you have called home for the last nine months.

And that’s when perhaps the first thought of change enters your mind and you go for it

headfirst, so to speak.

A bright lightit is then when you realize that there are others like you.

Larger and hairier, but they have eyes that are filled with saltwater and teeth so big you let out a shrieking cry. That is when you first feel fear.

But it soon disappears, as a kind woman’s face looks down at you,

and with trembling arms, she cradles your bloody head.

This is the first moment you feel love.

But then the first day of school arrives without warning.

The smell of pencil shavings and Elmer’s Glue fill up your Lisa Frank backpack.

You see your parents cry,

which makes you cry, and you don’t know why,

until the door closes, and you are left with 20 other children in uniforms,

all unsure of what they are meant to say.

You then feel a slight layer begin to grow, to protect your sensitive skin.

Was it from outside or within? Your security is questioned then.

Middle School — the time of acne, braces, unknown faces — carrying new-formed bodies.

Hearing the girl-talk in the bathrooms echo along the hallways.

Always wanting to fit in. Making friends with the popular kids — the ones who have it all together.

But months pass, and the classmates laugh at the kid who might be different.

Layer upon layer of self-doubt spills out, onto the freshly washed floor.

And then, you are in it — 17 years old — carrying a new body covered in privacy,

protected, but limited, due to the hundreds of voices questioning your vision. time and time again.

You’re thrown into the playpen of “Why?” “Who are you?” “What value?”

and you go back to 17 years ago,

What drove you before?

How were you able to do it?

This armor of fear — of worry or insecurity — has formed so thickly over time,

you would think it was an exoskeleton from a past crime.

It is not a part of you that was there when you felt love as a newborn,

before your dreams were torn by stranger’s scorn.

Layers — they are not a part of you.

You are much better than that.

And that is when you first feel stripped, bare: accepted.


Monica Ricketts has been a performer since she was very young. She has always enjoyed storytelling, whether it be through song, dance or poetry. She grew up in a rural town called Minden, Nevada, but due to her acting career, has now traveled and lived in Los Angeles, Toronto, and most recently, the beautiful Osaka, Japan. She has gained inspiration from the interesting people she has met in her travels, and discovered many new lessons about herself along the way. She hopes to continue to experience other places in the world that will fuel her writing in the years to come. You could contact her via Instagram or Facebook.


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