Friday, December 23, 2016

A Vague Poem About 2016

It was my 17th birthday, 
And I smiled until it hurt, 
Because I should, I could, I would, 
My list of goals for 2016 finished with 'like myself'. 

We have to have group and single photos taken,
We are the schools student leaders,
And I put myself at the back of the line,
All of the mental energy gathered suddenly lost.

The bell goes and for the first time,
I go the opposite way of my friends,
And inside part of me shrivels to do it,
But I keep my head high as I walk.

Sometimes when I look at the board in Biology,
I can't read it properly and I have to copy off the girl next to me,
(We have the same name which is pretty cool),
Oh, and I need glasses.

I see my best friend, 
We toss out what we would like to do next year,
Suddenly I wish it was 2017 already, 
As always, too impatient for time to pass.

Death hits my family unexpectedly (we all know it hovers),
And I cry for everything that it means and that has been lost,
For my selfish decision to walk along the thrashing sea,
Instead of listening to her stories when I last saw her.

Then it's winter, 
Raining as we go from class to class, 
As seniors we silently demand the right to go first, 
Loud and big and full of who we are. 

They ask 'why are you always so good?'
And I tell them that I'm not,
It's just that I'm a Christian,
And I guess that the 'good' is just an overflow.

But inside some part of me is dying,
And I'm living to move from class to class,
To come home and reopen my textbook,
Ignoring Facebook and all my notifications.

Sometimes people hurt you,
And sometimes you shut down,
Sometimes you need to dive down down down
To find your soul.

And two weeks later when I find mine,
I find myself in church (what a surprise),
And I understand who I am, who I will be,
I think they call it 'finding yourself'.

It's warming up and we have our leavers hoodies 
So we are ignoring the weather, 
Silently telling it to bend to our will 
Are we not kings and queens? 

I'm laughing, laughing, laughing,
Sitting on a desk in Calculus even though it's lunch,
And I take a second to absorb the pure joy in the room,
Joy, just because we're together.

700 faces turned up to me for the last time as my eyes sweep the hall,
Next to me the other two shift, I say 'um'
Before starting to speak again
And it's this that sticks (not the tears that wanted to fall). 

It cuts me up I'll admit,
That my new casual (no commitment) friendship
Is not working out and I feel somewhat committed after all this time
And so I leave for other committed friends. 

It's before a drama performance and we're laughing,
More effort going into the joke as it gains momentum,
And then they're asking if I'm going to the party,
And then I'm invited (because they say so).

It's some time past midnight,
My friend is whispering at me through the dark,
We're talking about the world, life, ourselves,
In the way you only can when you're drunk on being where you are.

Sometimes we have these moments, 
Where we all just stop and realise 
That this isn't forever, it's almost over, 
And we pull slightly closer for it.

At home, they ask me 'do your academics define you?'
I can't breath properly when I think about what I want,
A month later I'm crying on stage,
And everyone else on their feet.

I cry again later, for the people who weren’t there,
For my grandfather, who would have been so proud 
(I can hear still his voice, sometimes, when I concentrate), 
I almost cry again, everyone says such kind things.

I go to their party and they're all drunk
I'm holding up one of my friends,
She's telling the neighbour
'This girl is the Dux, she's one of the best people I know'.

I go to church the next morning
And wonder if I look dirty,
I've slept two hours in a lounge with four others,
(But Jesus didn't hang out with the best, did he?). 

After a study group we go for lunch, 
They're telling me that I'm Dux (again), 
And I'm telling them that friendships, people, are more important 
That I wish I had known that at the start of the year. 

I am suddenly honest when I tell them that
I spent some of the time I was studying to think: 
They were building relationships, what was I building?
Crinkles form between eyes, 'don't be stupid, you're our friend'.

And suddenly we're all mixing again,
I'm back with my old friends, still with the new,
Party here, party there,
'It's strange to see you drinking alcohol'.

And I begin to realise that I have a trophy,
But my thoughts were true:
There are so many friendships I missed out on,
It haunts me, I can't take that back.

My drama class comes over for a study group,
3 years has pulled us tight like a tapestry,
We end laughing on the couch,
Pretending the tapestry isn't about to unwind.

At home I'm staining at the leash, 
Because I know my future, I'm staring at it,
I'm seeing my best friend more often, 
And we plan and plan and plan.

This endless sea is before me, 
3 months of nothing until I start uni,
I have spent over 38 weeks with my textbooks,
I seem to have lost everything else.

I struggle to read with enthusiasm, 
I write out of a feeling of duty to finish the story,
I have nothing to blog about,
I am not who I was in January 2016.

I get my ears pierced and book a tattoo,
The year has a fuzzy feeling to it
When I'm staring at the stars with friends,
For once we are without music, listening to nature. 

I find my focus not long after that,
But my throat tightens when photos come up on Instagram,
I scramble to collect memories,
Even though I'm looking forward.
And now it is near the end of 2016,
It has not been a bad year for me,
Really it's been the best to be honest,
And I think I like myself.

Merry Christmas, my friends! If you read the whole thing, you are truly a star! You're also awesome if you gave it a go (it's really long, I know). What has been the highlight of your year? What is the goal you're proudest of reaching? What do you wish you had done more of in 2016?

Opal will see you in 2017! 


  1. I love it Opal!! ♥♥


    P.S. I'm graduating too in like four months and I am low-key freaking out about it. :p

    1. Thanks Megan! It's not nearly as scary as it might sound :)

  2. *gives self star* I'm graduating in six months, and my confusion about what the future will bring is high right now. (Some people will probably tell me that confusion can't be high, but I'll tell them they're wrong). I really liked your poem (although I wasn't familiar with any of the events you talked about specifically, because I'm not you), I think I related with the general gist. :)

    1. Thank you for reading the whole way! Sometimes the future is murky for a long time and you just have to keep walking, hoping your going int the right direction :)

  3. this poem gave me chills. I could relate to so many things in it and I just wish I could hug you. honestly I do. like I felt that in my soul. I love your truthfulness and your hopefulness and the fact that you can acknowledge the good and the bad in the year.
    you truly are a beautiful person. in every little way.
    (And you were right. Jesus hung with the lowest. I loved that part of the poem.)


    1. Awww thank you! I'm so glad that the poem touched you.

  4. <3 It sounds like this year has had its ups and downs, as every year does. Still, I'm glad you like yourself, even if I'm sorry about some of the struggles. :) Have a happy new year!

    1. Thank you Heather, happy new year to you as well! :)

  5. Wow, I loved this so much, Opal. I could relate to a lot of it, and wow the feels. 2016 was a crazy year, but it had it's beautiful moments too. God is good xx

    1. God is good indeed, and I'm glad you enjoyed the poem :)

  6. This is so amazing opal! You are a very talented writer. Thank you for making this. :) I hope you have an amazing 2017!

    1. Thank you Nabila, I hope you have a wonderful 2017 as well :)

  7. Amazing. <3 It really does summarise a year's worth of experiences. Congrats on Dux again! Hope you have a good Christmas and a happy new year! :)

    1. Thank you Jo! All the best to you in 2017 :)

  8. "Loud and big and full of who we are"

    I love this line. I feel like it sums people up in general XP This poem was beautiful.

    1. I'm so pleased that a line jumped out to you! Thank you :)

  9. This is so beautiful and bittersweet wow. <3

  10. How, this is so beautiful! I loved how you wrote your ups and downs with so much grace and beauty. I wish you all the best for next year!

  11. love this!