Outside
Outside chalk stories
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helensink
helensink ❤ rhyming and hiding ❤
Autoplay OFF   •   3 months ago
"Outside" we'd call it, the rest of the world. A / that word the white of an eye, vacant, a blank canvas.

Outside

by helensink

"Outside", we'd call it,

"Outside", we'd call it, the rest of the world.

A word the white of an eye,

A word the white of an eye, vacant,

A word the white of an eye, vacant, a blank canvas.

It is easy to snap your eyes shut,

It is easy to snap your eyes shut, the embrace of closed lids a soft blanket, lulling you back to sleep.

The real world didn't really exist.

Maybe that was the problem.

I was the girl who climbed trees,

I was the girl who climbed trees, skinned knees our tribal art, me and the other children.

My heart quickening at the snap of branches,

My heart quickening at the snap of branches, time cracking like a wishbone.

A thousand sunrises

A thousand sunrises and sunsets

A thousand sunrises and sunsets spent in the corners of the earth.

I know,

I know, I know now that couldn't last.

But it could in the past,

as chalk scratched the blackboard,

as chalk scratched the blackboard, clawed its face,

fractions and grammar

fractions and grammar (contractions)

fractions and grammar (contractions) swiped away by sundown.

You'd scrub and you'd scrub

You'd scrub and you'd scrub but there'd always be imprints, your handwriting

You'd scrub and you'd scrub but there'd always be imprints, your handwriting (faint)

You'd scrub and you'd scrub but there'd always be imprints, your handwriting (faint) trapped in time like a fossil.

I'd discover it the next day like a prize

I'd discover it the next day like a prize, bleary eyed,

the narrow white lines twisting against the black like veins,

the narrow white lines twisting against the black like veins, keeping me alive,

the narrow white lines twisting against the black like veins, keeping me alive, awake

the narrow white lines twisting against the black like veins, keeping me alive, awake through the mornings.

Still, nothing lasts forever.

The day it happened, the day our village fell,

the blackboard was as dark as our river dell at twilight,

the blackboard was as dark as our river dell at twilight, the chalk lines suddenly gone,

the room sterile.

Part of me thought they had emigrated to your face.

Those pale worry lines chisselled in.

Your cardboard embrace in the morning.

You were unnaturally solid that day,

You were unnaturally solid that day, I remember.

How was I to know things could change so fast?

My eyes forced open for real.

The "outside" had leaked in with their flames and their fists.

I didn't know it was like this,

us children lined up like dominoes,

waiting for our world to fall down.

You never told me about the threat, did you?

You never told me about the threat, did you? Protecting me, I know.

But then you were gone,

But then you were gone, the council members dragged you away,

But then you were gone, the council members dragged you away, screaming.

Your face the colour of chalk.

My face was bloodless too.

The truth was,

The truth was, YOU were my veins,

The truth was, YOU were my veins, my way to live,

The truth was, YOU were my veins, my way to live, to keep on breathing.

Maybe that's why I crumpled

Maybe that's why I crumpled when they led me to the boat,

Maybe that's why I crumpled when they led me to the boat, reduced to a pile of luggage.

Baggage,

Baggage, complete with a name tag.

"Refugee", it said.

But how can I be a refugee when they stole my refuge?

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