Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

The Face I Show the World

on March 23, 2011

There is a new post on the Denney Juvenile Justice Center blog.

Today’s poem, “What Seems” is written by a teen girl and published in the January 2009, Denney Poetry Anthology, Because I Want to Be Loved.

One of the topics which we often write about in the poetry workshop is “masks.”  We talk about the masks we wear in our lives, and how we often don’t want people to see the real us for fear of rejection, ridicule, or mistrust. We jump start the discussion by using the poem, “The Face I Show the World.” “The Face I Show the World” was written during a writing and art workshop at Remann Hall in Tacoma, and published in the book, The Bottom of Heaven: Artwork and Poetry of the Remann Hall Women’s Project

In 2003, the Tacoma Museum of Glass coordinated a program in which the young ladies at Remann Hall in Tacoma worked with artists Darwin Nordin and Judith Roche in an art and poetry workshop. The result of that workshop was the book, The Bottom of Heaven: Artwork and Poetry of the Remann Hall Women’s Project. (Used copies can still be found on Amazon, and if you work with young women in detention or at-risk, I’d highly recommend buying a copy of this book). The following is the poem, “The Face I Show the World.”

The Face I Show the World

The face I show the world has many layers

Each layer is revealed one by one in time.

Some people see a criminal in an orange jumpsuit,

others see a troubled teen crying for attention,

and depending on the situation,

many see an innocent female

who has done nothing wrong.

But sooner or later I’m gonna have to realize

that’s not the way it’s gonna be.

So I’ll just sit back and face the truth of my future,

an orange jumpsuit and clipped wings of freedom.

This is the face that is shown to the world,

the troubled teenage criminal crying

for fair attention in an orange jumpsuit.

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