Winter Holiday Writing Prompt Challenge: Brave/Brenda Romconfan

The day they told me you have the A Word
I simply experienced the demise of everything I knew to be true
That word hung from your file
from my face
like a big scarlet letter written in the alphabet of DNA
I felt as unlucky as a crash test dummy scientists use to compare carnage to some arbitrary normal
I lost in the Russian roulette of biology
Received a rejection letter from God
Some myopic angel probably forgot to stamp my file thus my fate fell in between the cracks of
heaven’s bureaucracy

Then naturally I fantasized about a classic California earthquake
for the ground to just open up and devour me
(it would have been a good headline in the LA Times: Woman’s Shame is the Epicenter of Disaster)

I can’t tell how I became brave after that
even though I was pretty sure I was the standard issue ordinary human
there was no grand epiphany, no vision of salvation on a slice of tomato or piece of burnt toast
I’m baffled still that I crawled out of the coffin of doubt
prying the casket of my own creaky bed open
That I pulled the white sheet away from my head and told the newspaper to cancel the headlines of
my death

But I did learn to lasso the air to catch my breath
Carved my chin into an exclamation point with tip of a match
to light the temple of indifference on fire
from that ash I found the feathers of a bird
Weaved them into a bullet proof vest to shield you from a world that fires remarks about your
Built a ladder from tiny bones so our spirits can surmount the sky
….from burning embers and cinders we flew

My spine is stiffer now
molded of metal chiseled out of titanium armor
But for you baby I soften and melt

You alone have made me brave
By stripping all that is phony
my heart now is wide open
as an empty cup the oceans hallowed out
placed underneath a waterfall
And everything spills over


Yes I’m still exploding sometimes
But I’m told breaking is how stars are born

We don’t fit into a box or a coffin or a sardine can
We never will
I’m proud of that square peg anomaly
We celebrate each birthday harder these days like it’s the end of a war
And there will be another war with the norms

I raise my fist against Perfection
Like a pink ballerina about to unfurl the tutu of her knuckles in the face of uniformity
That word the unoriginal tout to our freedom march huddled in their barricades on the other side of
the road
Perfect is a lie I denounced
that day of the A when you started teaching me to be brave…

Brenda Romconfan started jotting some poems down as a side effect of insomnia in 2018. She is convinced that her head is a giant volley ball covered with honey where random memories, thoughts and rhymes get stuck. What you are reading is just the words buzzing around this sticky sphere.  You can read more of her writing on here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s