I forgive you.
These three words are not so hard to say. But should they be?
You who have made me what I am today. Yet I forgive you.
I forgave you then.
I of seven – a horse to be whipped.
A body to be shamed.
And for Middle School I was ill equipped. Yet I forgave you then.
And I forgive you now.
You scarred me, but I didn’t know it
Until I was out, and fourteen I was. And still I was seven in a playground. You at the top and I at the bottom.
You were with friends; I was alone. How did that make you feel?
While I stood at the bottom looking up. You looked down.
Did you feel proud?
I still remember now.
I was there at seven; when I was fourteen. You were laughing. You and friends
Laughing at me, but that wasn’t it.
Your faces like suns couldn’t brighten more.
It was a game; we were playing a game. I played a game at fourteen.
Gang up, it was.
Was that the game we played at seven? You were the hunters; I the hunted.
I at fourteen played a game.
I entered a playground; the one at middle school.
It was made of wood, just like our playground.
It had a yellow slide, just like our slide.
And it had a tall platform so high I was forced to look up.
And that was when I saw you. You and your friends. You at seven looking down on me.
I at fourteen looking up at you.
I was not in middle school, So where was I?
I was with you then.
Stuck in a loop of a broken memory. A cold sore that won’t go away.
Or a scar that’s here to stay.
Don’t worry, I forgive you.
I wonder if you know how it feels To be stuck in a moment
That won’t move on?
It was a flashback I had.
I was punished for it, can’t blame the teacher.
She didn’t know I was looking at you and not at them
When I told the hunter where the hunted were.
I betrayed them the way you betrayed me.
It was you who tampered with the rules when it came to me.
The difference is I didn’t know.
I hurt them like you hurt me.
Stuck in a snapshot of seven years old. And yet they got over it.
But I did not.
Still stuck – like a foot in a drain.
I am nineteen now and still haunted by you.
You and your band of five.
Your faces; it was your faces.
I saw that look in a movie when I was fourteen.
A woman drove another woman mad and she was pleased.
Were you pleased?
I suppose you were,
For the moment.
Hurting me takes the pain away,
Like biting your lip when you stub your toe.
I know what you were about.
It was on a Friday; we were ten. You saw me with my mum.
She had driven for six hours
To be with us for the weekend.
You stood there outside the school classroom staring
With bruised eyes.
You weren’t looking at me.
You were looking at my mum.
It was never about me.
That was the only time you were friendly. Although I was with my mum and
You were always charming around mums. That is the last memory I have of you.
I saw your Facebook page.
You’ve still got your straight blonde hair.
Some things never change, like your interest in horses,
Although your mum tried to scare you away dumping you on that tremendous
Stallion back when we were young.
We are young – some states slowly pass.
I wonder what now’s like – For you, that is. You still live in the area, I hear.
Some things never change.
I’ve left and yet I cannot leave.
You haven’t and yet you wished you had.
Some things never change and some things do. Like how you made me what I am today
And yet I still forgive you.
I got the emotion here. It’s almost frightening how easily it is to go back to those moments. It’s scary enough when a seven year old boy runs right over you (literally runs through you) and doesn’t bother to notice your bleeding nose and purple bruised forehead or the fact that he made you do a flip, but it gets even worse when half your lifetime later, nothing has changed. History repeating itself.
Although that’s why we need to talk to the bystanders. Forgive, but never forget, lest we allow it to happen again.
Actually, as a side note, a girl who was in my tutor class in Year 7 and 8 said she knew I was being picked on and was afraid to step in and defend me. I’m half glad she was, though, because I know if she had, she’d get picked on, too. Another girl who was friends with me who everyone liked had that happen to her, and that made me feel angrier when they poured water all over her chair. She didn’t even know why they were doing it.
I’m sorry that happened to you. Bystanders can be harmful. Wow. What a jerk. Kids can be so cruel. This poem was about the trauma from being bullied. There’s not much I really remember but I get flashbacks and snippets of the bullying and so I’ve tried to channel the fragmentation of my memory.