A Sound Inside
a funny decibel
of becoming a mess
someone mocked many times before
a heart's plea
of settling down
while I boil inside a bit
an interesting contour
the outline of a downfall
of not a person but a family
who has not made a mark
artists of failure
and fearers of domesticity
but also makers of chaos
this pair of we
a friend to no one
an account of nothing
just a laundry list of life
a montage of fragmented hope
and lost tempers
a funny conclusion
no cup of coffee
or tight hug next to the car
just a feeling of emptiness
A Decade, Part One and Two
there are those quiet failures,
ones that barely make a tapping noise.
ones that don't even turn anyone's head when they happen.
that is what I have mostly done.
empty, quiet, failures that are bursting with embarrassed
sorrowful spoutings and knowing gazes.
I have seen those faces too much, too often, both in the mirror
and from my family.
I am able to speak and act normal because quiet failure is
it's there but you can ignore it.
Like a family secret.
But everyone else just looks at you with this disdain, this ire
that kind of makes me smile.
Oh, so I'm not what you thought I'd be, huh?
Not proud to call me daughter, sister, friend?
I laugh off their criticisms,
fold them quickly in an envelope
and remind myself to send them back to them
twenty years from now.
I am progressing.
There are loud footsteps towards the door marked "Success"
This is what we call a noisy triumph.
Friends hear it and sneer, family just nods their heads.
And I find different ways to throw it into conversation.
Being noisy, it can be terribly irritating, even coarse.
And although you should enjoy it, you don't.
thoughts of what comes next often overrules the triumph.
Like walking around thinking, "What now?"
but it is triumph nonetheless
and must be better than all of the quiet failures.
The triumphs, we see.
Are less defining.
No lesson learned or bridge built.
No real symbol of who we have become.
Not interesting in the least, just good.
The failures are pure. hard.
but they drive you.
you see the difference once you've
and something, something,
that quiet can be nice
and noisy can feel awkward
is where there is an explanation
for what comes next.
Bridgette Holmes is a high school English teacher in Saratoga
Springs, NY. She writes as a hobby for now, but hopes to break
into the market in the coming years. These two poems are her
first published works. She is a graduate of the St. Lawrence
University in Canton, NY for English Writing as well as of
Plattsburgh State University for Curriculum and Instruction.