Say Sum Thin 5 – Day Activities Feedback

22 Jun

You Were A Whisper We Caught

For Ethan

There is a 15-year old boy. Eyes drawn like curtains in his bedroom 87% of the summer holidays. This is not assumed. The blackened metal skinny jeans, a dark as tar nylon shirt. An inability to look into the light blooming from my eyes. These aspects do not form my opinion. They simply catch the words crawling like shadows from his mouth. He does not freely share what he feels. Prefers the softer arms of indoors.

Yet. He has written two poems. Has pushed gangly earphones to my palms, so I might check out an out-of-print, gothically packaged spoken word album on his chipped Creative Zen. Is suggesting a woman twice his age who is still scribbling read his work aloud. As though she might smooth out the rough hands of his imagination.

All at once he is taking the page from her. He is reading in his voice. It is not a siren. It is not this brilliant loud. It is cracked and peeling. But his confidence is now a bricklayer starting his shift.

Twenty five minutes later, I am struggling to adjust the mic level for a 9-year old child reading a poem about his father’s work boots. Ethan bounds toward me. Firmly grips the stand. Tells me he has got this.

He will follow with a 40-second piece detailing his ideal party. He will look up just once. He will smile inwardly. 13 people will lean in. They are floating life jackets preventing him from drowning. I will beg for something more than gracious applause. Fall in love with the term ‘Open’ Mic all over again.

I will become a flood. A bursting dam of pride spilling still, for a boy I will never see again.

– Jim.


3 Responses to “Say Sum Thin 5 – Day Activities Feedback”

  1. Anne holloway June 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks Jim. THIS is what it’s all about. Thanks for posting, thanks for writing and thanks for doing x

  2. mouthypoets June 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Wait… you might see him again at Say Sum Thin 6?!?!

  3. Matt July 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    this were lovely this!

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