"Growing up, Nan," 1st Prize Poetry Winner of the Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition
We are publishing "Growing Up, Nan" by Asset Janabekov ('20), the first-prize winner in the poetry category of the second annual Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition.
Now that I arrived
I ask yet once again
What it's like
To grow up?
Is it when your father creaks like an Old Door
grinds teeth to say out of blue haze
That he's tired, that he wants to Rest?
Have I grown up yet?
Is it when your back humps rounds like a dead drained willow?
Or is it when your Colossus mother shrinks so small down at your knees
howls weeps tears down the coldness of old cement floor?
Have I grown up?
Have I grown up stuttering like a broken antique phonograph record
i-i-i-l-l-love you i love you feeling shapeless faceless loveless Reduced?
Or laying naked with no one but four silent white walls observing
my red swollen face all mucus and saliva?
Have I yet? Gazing hypnotized at the calming waves begging them 'set me Free?'
I ask You now have I grown up with my memories faded faded faded
drenched in black Ink sucked and vanished have I?
Have I grown up yet?!
Have I hearing the echo bouncing from shabby walls seeing It Emptying
and them handling gold coins to the Dark Boatsman one. after. another.
Have I grown up trading the Presence for the Sweet silent Oblivion
seeking relief Having them one. after. another?
Have I grown up carrying Past into Present
with inners split and Tethys raging between them?
Have I grown up yet joining the ranks of ones I was afraid to become
black-suited boys eyes all coal-black sparkless and cold
my head thoughtless and body one heart-less than needed?
Have I grown up