Perspective: We Don’t Know Stories That Are Not Our Own. {poetry}


I love writing because it allows me to explore all sides of a situation. It continues to amaze me how a few simple words change meanings depending on who reads them.

The best stories fit into our lives and shift to relate to us. These are the stories I do my best to write. What this poem means to me is not what it will mean to you, and that makes it powerful.

I would rather take the path lined with brambles than walk a yellow brick road if it meant I was walking the right way. It is too easy to see one side of a situation. Too many people are willing to accept the majority view and not look underneath the bedspread to see what color the sheet is underneath. I want to see everything down to the mattress. I need to know what I am sleeping on.

This poem is also about what happens when we shift the way we look at things and when we ask ourselves what we are really seeing and responding to. This poem is about what happens when we stop looking through a telescope and instead see the whole picture.

This poem is also a reminder not to judge people. We do not know stories and goals that are not our own. We may be the villains in our own stories, but the heroes in someone else’s life. Oppositely, we may be heroes to ourselves and slowly be poisoning someone else’s life by our ignorance or refusal to open our eyes.

I do not like to tell people how to read poetry. I do not enjoy being told how to read a poem. Therefore, I leave you with some of the thoughts that helped form this writing and ask you to interpret Perspective in your own way.


While all of you
Are cutting away old growth
Growing thorns instead of fingernails
Decorating the webs around your hearts
With dewdrops

I am learning something new,
Not to say every day,
Growing into myself
Calling myself a warrior and
Watching my black roses bloom.

While all of you
Are exuding fifty shades of happiness
Combing rebellion into your hair
Catching sundrops

I am welding my iron gates shut
Repairing my grandfather’s clock
Doing my hair as I have done it for
Fifty years.

While all of you
Are tearing up the cobblestones
Marching beyond the future

I am writing from the past
Sewing a pillow for you to land on
When your fantasies tumble down.


Jaya Avendel is a mountain girl from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she writes family into fantasy and delights in poetry and prose. Her writing has been published at Free Verse Revolution, Visual Verse, and Spillwords Press, among others. She tweets as @AvendelJaya.


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