24/7

By Veronika Pister, Intuitive Writing Project student

“You can’t be ‘on’ 24/7”

This is news to me.

You can’t be back to back

hard work up until the heart attack.

You can’t have school days

and school nights

and school sleep.

If weekends were bookends,

my story would never finish.

Words crammed up against each other like a poorly adjusted typewriter,

spilling ink freely with no signs of stopping.

Blotched words shoved up against other blotched words,

the page may never end.

Even when the ink runs thin,

the machine continues typing.

And people tell me you can’t be on 24/7.

3 years later.

1000 school days later.

4 dozen breakdowns later.

51 tournaments, 9 all nighters, 403 lectures, 28 finals, 2 broken hearts, 7 anxiety attacks,

3 years later.

People are still telling me I can’t be on 24/7.

I want to be able to remember my last free weekend;

my last “me” day; my last clear head; my last hairbrush concert.

I wonder what they mean, how they turn it off.

If there’s a light switch or a dial that I’m not seeing.

If they’re packing a little magic in their pillows.

If there’s a medication my doctor forgot to prescribe.

I don’t know what it is that’s on but it’s been on too long.

And I want to turn it off.

I want to dim it down.

I want to turn it off off off.

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1 Response

  1. Sue Boudreau

    Veronica, so great to see you yesterday! I am trying so hard to calm down my classroom and curriculum, and it’s just so much more friendly and the atmosphere is more playful and thoughtful. Your poem is inspiration that this is the right way to go. I’m sharing it with OIS administration and we are really trying to address this big problem you write about so eloquently.

    Like

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