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AN EMOTIONAL WAIT by Cheyenne Boyer Foor
Nov 27th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

AN EMOTIONAL WAIT664590f6fc51-722b17c41b7fdc4193573114bb37f7c9-2

By Cheyenne Boyer Foor

A note from Liza Wiemer: A little over a year ago, I met Cheyenne at a high school where I gave some workshops connected to my YA novel, Hello?. Last week, she shared this poem with me. It’s powerful, insightful, meaningful and I have no doubt, many can relate to this beautiful, heartfelt poem. The moment I read it, I knew Cheyenne’s words needed to be read by others. It’s a privilege to share AN EMOTIONAL WAIT on my blog.

Freshman year:
White birch trees line the path so bright
Their bark glints sliver in evening light
Silent winds rustle whispering leaves
Autumn says goodbye and the land grieves.

As I stumble upon this educational lane
My hopes and dreams I try to retain
But winter is bleak and this road is harsh
Like lilly’s struggling in an overgrown marsh.

I trudge on..my troubles never far from mind
Shadows cling under my eyes and I pray
That the next curve in my life be kind.

Valleys so deep, their dark and dank
My mind is threatening to overtake
I hurry on, determined to fight this one mistake.
This road is lonely
The trees are thick
but up ahead…is that a break?
I hurry ahead…I am so alone..
This road I am on is not well known.

Look! The trees are disappearing
Up ahead…snow capped mountains!
I should be glad that I leave that forest
But the road uphill..sigh..
Will the journey be kind?

I am lost in thought as I taste the air
Bitter cold winds…lost in despair
Where are those that said they would always be here?

The road leads on, all I can do is follow
And hope my mind will survive this sorrow.
Up this mountain with it’s stealing winds
I’m reminded of my many sins.

My troubles are great as I grow weary
I look about, as the weather grows dreary.
The pack on my back that I have carried
Are all my troubles that I should have buried.

Sitting down, I look around
This path I walk is overgrown.
I look at my pack, the one I hate,
And wonder at its emotional weight.

I reach in and discard one thought
The weight is less…
is it all for naught?

Just as I round the very next bend
There stands one of my very best friends.
Where were you in the dark forest gloom?
My friend says nothing but points to an empty classroom.

Warmth and kindness beckons me
I rest my shoulders and rub my knee.
My friend says nothing, she looks haggard as well.
This road less traveled has been sheer hell.

We sit silently lost in thought
The lessons we’ve learned, the ones we’ve been taught.
My pack, so heavy sits by the door
And I wonder what is in it that I’ve been fighting for,

Sophomore year: 
My back is rested
My feet less sore
It’s time to move on, there is more.

My friend looks up,
A smile…nothing more..I see her pack
My faith restored.

The mountain top is close at hand
And I am reminded why life is so grand.
The sun is shining, the winds not so harsh..
My friend was there..when I needed her most.

I adjust my pack and I trudge on
I know not what I will come upon.

As I walk, the sun soon sets
And leaves me in shadows that I’d rather forget.
A river ahead..it’s waters so deep
With stones so sharp
They cut my feet.

Why! I cry in utter despair.
I have come upon my Junior year…

I stand in swirling black waters
The current is strong
My reserve falters.

My pack of troubles is taking on water
I can’t breath…I must make it lighter!
I reach into the waterlogged pack,
And draw out a memory, the tears I fight back.

I drop it into the watery depths far below
The waves toss it to and fro.
I watch it sink out of sight
Suddenly I laugh at my ridiculous plight.

The river seems calmer, serene almost
Not as wide, gliding like a ghost.
I quickly make it to the other side
I look back at my path and smile with pride.

I have made it through valleys and forests so dark,
I have climbed mountains so steep.
And forged rivers too deep

I let my mind wander to my friend so kind,
Her pack so large
Is she so far behind?

She has not yet made it to the river’s edge
I can see the path clearly etched
Will she conquer her fear as I?
Or will the bleak waters
Steal her mind?

I must trudge on for this path is less traveled
There are not many whose minds unravels.
It’s lonely here, but peaceful to
Here I can be me, and you can be you.

I have rested too long,
It is time that I’ve gone..
I pick up my pack and turn towards the sun…
my path less traveled is far from done.

I walk in meadows with birds in flight
Flowers and their fragrance, senses delight.
My pack is lighter, my troubles less heavy
The air is thin, my path less scary…

Senior year:
I reflect on my struggle
The pack I carry
I lower my head…truly humble

Those that said they would be there
They said my problems they would bare,
My confidants I confined
They have not come I’ve been defrauded..

Where are they now
On my path less traveled?
No…they took their leave when I fell into shadow.

I look up and see the sands ahead
A desert so vast
It fills me with dread.

My pack I drag through dunes alone
I have reached my end
I can go no more
Like on the mountain top long before.

I drop my pack
I leave it behind
All these troubles that have corrupted my mind.

There I lie
With the sand as my bed
I wonder at length is this the end?
My road less traveled has disappeared
Much like my friends…my greatest fear.

I raise my hand to shield my eyes
The sun is so hot
Yet, I cannot rise

When I awoke I looked about
No stranger, no friend but there was my pack
But how could this be
How has it found its way back to me?

The air is clouded with a heavy mist
Dark and unforgiving
The silence persists

With trepidation I glance at my pack
I shiver at its bulk, I don’t want it back!
Slowly I reach
And pull it near
This road less traveled wasn’t my only fear

I look around again and to my surprise
The stranger that led me here was by my side
They motioned for me to open my pack
Just a shadow in the dark that could see through the black

No! I shout, I won’t carry it anymore!
But the stranger stood fast,
Taunting me to explore.

I looked down at my feet and counted my toes
This stranger wasn’t leaving
This path held more.

So I opened the pack that I did carry
The one my friends said they’d help me bury.
The very same pack with all the despair
The tears and scars that I had hidden in there

I expected to see the razor blades that cut so deep
The words that were flung used to beat
The tossed inside shards of glass
Broken pieces of my past.

A silent scream, a tear I shed
I gasp for air as I shake
My head.

The stranger spoke
the words so dear
my best friend’s voice said so clear..

“Though my troubles were heavy,
I picked up your pack, though my soul was weary
and took your troubles and held them closely.
All those times throughout those years
where you felt alone
and shed those tears
when friends were cruel
and the stakes were high
when you wanted to quit
or just “get by”
Those days when you thought you’d lose your head
when darkness threatened and you wished for death.
When shadows taunted
and your dreams were haunted,
you stuck it all into this pack
and carried this load on your aching back.
keep the memories and see life through
because I lost the fight when I carried it for you.”

What did you learn?

Nobody can carry you, you must carry yourself.

 

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway of POISONED APPLES by Christine Heppermann
Sep 22nd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway (US/Canada) ofPoisoned Apples

POISONED APPLES

by Christine Heppermann

Published by Greenwillow Books

Pub date: September 23, 2014

Buy here: IndieBoundAmazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

About POISONED APPLES:
Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann’s collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it “a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that’s caustic, funny, and heartbreaking.”

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.
 

My Review of POISONED APPLES:

5/5 stars

General comments: Great cover with the river of red fabric for the cloak worn by a young woman. Symbolic and powerful. Stunning artwork alongside Christine Heppermann’s poems.

 

Bite and taste

Poisoned

Apples stuffed

down girls throats

by society,

advertisement,

the clothes

on mannequins

selling sexuality,

diet aids, beauty.

Rebel against

stereotypes,

Stand up

for feminism. Take

a good long look

in the mirror, mirror

on the wall

who’s the fairest

queen

of  all. See how

we’re brainwashed

to believe so little

about ourselves

as girls, women.

Thank you

very much

fairy tales. Damsels

in distress we’re NOT!

Welcome to

the real world

filled with Poisoned Apples.

 

Poisoned Apples is a brilliant must-read, critical for both male and female young adults. I hope teachers in upper middle school and high schools will have the courage to put this in the hands of students and utilize it for a strong social discussion of society’s pressures caused by stereotypes and negative self-image. A clever, revealing, heartbreaking, honest window into beauty and society through a retelling of fairy tales.

Deep gratitude to Hannah McBride of the Irish Banana Review for putting together and including me in this blog tour. Thank you so much to Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins for a ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

About Christine Heppermann
Christine Heppermann is a writer, poet, and critic. Her book of poetry for young adults, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, will be published by Greenwillow Books in September, 2014. Poisoned Apples has been called “a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that’s caustic, funny and heartbreaking” (E. Lockhart) and a “powerful and provocative exploration of body image, media, and love” (Rae Carson).

Christine’s first book, City Chickens (Houghton Mifflin, 2012), is a nonfiction story about a shelter for abandoned and unwanted chickens in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 2015 Greenwillow Books will publish the first book of the Backyard Witch Series, written by Christine and Ron Koertge. The middle-grade series follows three best friends and a mysterious visitor who appears for curious adventures just when they need her most.

Christine was a columnist and reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine from 1996 until 2013. Her poems are published in 5AM, The Magazine of Contemporary Poetry; Poems and Plays; Kite Tales; Nerve Cowboy; The Mas Tequila Review; and The Horn Book Magazine. Her reviews of children’s and young adult books have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.

Find Christine on Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 
Blog Tour:
Sept. 21 – Andye @ ReadingTeen.net – Guest Post
Sept. 22 – Liza @ WhoRU Blog – Review
Sept. 23 – Jenny @ Supernatural Snark – Interview / Steph & Meg @ Cuddlebuggery – Joint Review
Sept. 24 – Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review – Review
Sept. 25 – Stephanie @ No BS Book Reviews – Interview
Sept. 26 – Katie @ MundieMoms – Review
Sept. 27 – Mary @ The Book Swarm – Guest Post & Review

Giveaway: (US/Canada Only)

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