(listen to the poem, read by the author)
Breaking into the world, frozen childhood,
Swaddled tight in a blue blanket, woven childhood.
Worry the first face learned, my mother’s kiss
Encased in my father’s arms, holding childhood.
Held in my palm the biggest difference between us
Bent, missing, no need to fix, stolen childhood.
Stumbling fingers crawl on all fours
“Shoes”, “stars”, my early unspoken childhood.
Fighting through fists pumping with my heartbeats
Scars hidden beneath curling hair, swollen childhood.
A drum stick, stitches, unraveled balls of yarn
A laugh at the new, “milk”, an open childhood.
Overwhelming noise destructive interruptions
Threading silence into this broken childhood.
Hands forgetting the dance steps, unable to hear the music
Rhythm escaping me in a folding childhood.
Learning the difference in existing surviving and living
Trying to do all, unchosen childhood.
Being chased by my mother she calls my name
“Juliet” her smile as I recognize who I am, still floating childhood.
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About the Author
Juliet Corwin is 17 years old and deaf. She wears bilateral cochlear implants. Her opinion piece, “The Lonely World Between the Hearing and the Deaf,” was published in the Washington Post on July 20th, 2018.