napowrimo 17 - Claw Machine

by Rania Moallem   Apr 19, 2020


Transparent water bottles
smell of fresh books
the route to school
and combing hair
at early morning hours,
a claw machine of pity memories.
A lump in my throat.
I couldn't escape as a child
so I skipped classes as an adult.
Year by year
they stole something from me
even the curve on my face.
It took me years to learn arts
It took me years.
Today as an amateur
my skills don't pay off
but I throw similes, I write metaphors,
for example;
the pain was profound like a crevasse?
or, you are my pain.
Your slaps, an agony
and my face still hurts.
At times, my legs still shiver
and my heartbeats still race.
I never knew it's called ache
I wrote an Ode to burden
and decried long lonely nights.
My poems were dull and sad,
still they are.
I outgrew the moment
but not its fear.
I was never bad at school,
was just bad at standing up.
Two decades later,
the transparent water bottles
the smell of fresh books
the route to school
and combing my hair
at early morning hours,
still push up a lump in my throat.
I always think I did, but I never forgot.
When I was a child,
I was not a child.

4


Did You Like This Poem?

Latest Comments

  • 6 months ago

    by Tony Grannell

    Hello Rania,

    It reads like a rush of poetry as if you want to flee the memory. 'your face still hurts', such is the realism of recollecting moments of the past and powerfully portrayed in the panicked pace of this most excellent poem. Very well done indeed.

    Kind regards, Tony.

  • 6 months ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    My initial thought was to type lots of exclamation points too, lol.
    Real quick suggestion if that's alright? I think "but I throw smilies, I write metaphors," should have been "similes"? Unless you mean throwing smiles/smilies

    The depth in this just sends shivers down my spine. The imagery that serves as reminders, the reminiscing in the start and ending, the tangible pain and weight of memories... growing up too fast. There's a maturity in this that speaks of trauma, and we eventually process it, thinking back to how much was taken from us. Of never getting to enjoy the simple pleasures of being young and unbroken by the world.

    The metaphor and image of the claw machine, something most children are delighted and determined to try, when they convince their parents for more change to grab the stuffed animal or toy they spotted... the disappointment in coming away empty. Not being on the receiving end.

    "I was never bad at school,
    was just bad at standing up."

    - This realization is powerful. Isn't it incredible that it may take us years and years to realize our own strength, maybe causing us to wonder why we never voiced all we had to say? Yet knowing sometimes all we can do is acknowledge the fear. It's not weak if we are too terrified, if we don't know how yet. Fear can still follow us and try to gnaw at us.

    I always felt a little bitterness and hypocrisy when thinking back to how many times I was told school (high school and into college) would be the best days of my life. That I would look back fondly. That it would build character. And it was never that for me. I fought my own personal demons. School was a lonely time for me, even though there were people there who would have supported me if I would have spoken up. It also made me think that someone can be going through something profound and dealing with what feels like the world, and whether they are bullied or not, by parents, classmates, etc, it may not always take a physical form. There can be a sting from isolation. From not being chosen. From not being spoken to, etc. Your words got to me emotionally, especially when you mentioned they stole the smile from your face. No one ever should have to go through that. Having beautiful parts of yourself, your essence, your radiance, chipped away. And knowing you cannot return to the child that perhaps is in you - the way children should not fear, or if they do, they have fears that can be quickly laid to rest.

    This was personal to read and got me choked up. I hope this was therapeutic in some kind of way.

    SO much <3 to you, always.

    • 6 months ago

      by Rania Moallem

      Thank you for reading this thoroughly and for your deep feedback. I love you MA and yes your write, that was an auto-correction will fix it. <3

      All writings are of a therapeutic nature I believe.

  • 6 months ago

    by hiraeth

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you keep managing to outdo yourself every day! this is incredible.

More Poems By Rania Moallem

People Who Liked This Also Liked