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woman of words -- poetry by Via Sheahin

my mother’s soft hands braiding stories into my hair

i drink the rain in fear of tasting it bitter.

(my limbs grow longer, tangled in old memories

like necklaces i no longer wear)

my mouth is dry and empty of wisdom

words leaving claw marks on my existence

to prove i tried to leave something of meaning

(there are names no longer spoken

and gravestones unmarked)

there is no greater fear in death

than feeling unfulfilled

expectations crushing my youth

blaming vulnerability as wasted time

(my father is a businessman,

success painted on the ground he walks on

i am a woman of words)

i choke on rotten honey / the immunity

of its youth merely another fantasy

of the world i battle to understand

(i am constantly afraid that i will

become nothing born from a family

of something)

i hold expectation in my calloused hands

dreams shattering into dust and stinging

my bleeding wounds

(i am made of wealth or i am nothing.)


Via Sheahin is a high school student from Chicago with a passion for words and the importance of speaking up. She has been previously published in literary magazines such as Cathartic Lit and Élan. When not writing, she can be found reading or enjoying time with loved ones. 

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