Sonnet, revisited

Quite a few of my views also come when people search “c.b. trail” into a search engine.

It’s because of this post. And this poem (which I will type from memory):

This is for the afternoon we lay in the leaves,
after it had been winter for half a year.
And I kissed you and unbuttoned your jeans
and touched you and made you smile, my dear.
And of all the good things that love means,
one of them is to touch you there.
And to see you smile, among the leaves
and feel your wetness and your sweet short hair.
And kiss your breasts and put my tongue
into the delirium between your soft pale thighs.
Because the winter has been much too long
and soon will come again when this love dies.
I will hear sermons preached, and some of them be true,
but I will not regret that afternoon with you.

~c.b. trail

Do you feel a tad uncomfortable? Most people do. I really can’t blame you if you do.

But, I’ll tell you one thing. When, at age 15, I first read this poem, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I thought it was beautiful then. I think it’s beautiful now. I have this poem taped in the back of my poetry book(s) to remind myself that it’s okay to let go and write about whatever the fuck I feel. It’s okay to write down random words that don’t make any sense. It’s okay to be a little more personal than normal and to write about things that might make people blanch.

And oh, blanch they did.

At the end of Composition and Critical Thinking, a required course my freshman year, the professor asked each of us to upload a favorite poem onto the class’s Moodle (online student-teacher forum-type thing) page.

I wasn’t going to post c.b. trail’s “Sonnet.”

Hell no.

I was going to play it safe and post something normal for a change. But, with the urging of a friend, I posted the poem.

In class the next day, each student had to pick the favorite poem of a peer, stand up and read it to the rest of the class. I chose to read “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Nobody read mine. (Surprised? I wasn’t.)

“If anyone’s poem has not been read, feel free to stand up and read it yourself,” the professor said.

I wasn’t going to read mine. I was going to sit back and be normal for a change (for fear of not being accepted as is, I really censored myself during that first semester freshman year).

But, with the urging of another friend, I got up.

I walked to the front of the class, stood at the podium and

read

my

poem.

You could have heard a pin drop in that classroom after I finished. Mouths gaped. Everyone stared. (I felt instant judgment at this point.)

“Well, during break when your mom and dad ask what you’ve learned, you can say, ‘oh, we learned about oral sex,'”* the professor said, breaking the ice with laughter.

My peers treated me differently after that. Some respected me more. Some shot interesting looks my way. I know a lot of them talked about it afterward (hey, I’m flattered). Most of them just didn’t understand.

I think the poem is beautiful because of its brutal honesty. c.b. trail wasn’t afraid to write what he/she felt. I’ve learned a lesson from him/her. Hence why I have the poem memorized and taped in the back of my books. I need reminders that it’s okay to record even the most ridiculous or socially unacceptable thoughts and experiences.

If only they could see my poetry books. I can only imagine what they would think then.

*roughly paraphrased

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