Nicole Ferrel, “When I Was Eleven” & “Breakdown”

When I Was Eleven

Photo by Gerry Gomez_For When I Was Eleven and Breakdown by Nicole Ferrel

© Gerry Gomez

by Nicole Ferrel

When I was eleven
flowers blossomed on my body.
Roses sprouted from between legs
that had carried me into adulthood;
daisies bloomed beneath arms that cradled books
and climbed trees.

When I was eleven
I learned my flowers were weeds.
My maturity was something to be plucked away
if I were to be worthy of love.

When I was eleven
I was handed another body’s truth.
But today I tend my garden with love,
the only way I know how,
by letting it grow free.

Breakdown

It’s said that the heart wants what the heart wants;
to me, it seems all hearts want to be heard,
but when I open mine to him
to heal us both,
a heart closes in return.

It’s said that strength is the currency of men;
an irreproachable thing I cannot hope to understand,
I try to say
“There is strength in vulnerability”
but his silence says
“I do not understand.”

It’s said that women understand compassion,
love, and nurturing, if little else;
but when hurt becomes anger
and cries for help become hateful words,
building walls between us I cannot scale,
I feel nothing
and my heart closes in return.

Bio

Nicole Ferrel is a singer, musician, and artist born and raised in Santa Barbara. She loves animals, food, and learning, and is majoring in geology at SBCC with hopes of pursuing paleontology. In five years she sees herself recording ukulele songs, working towards a Ph.D., and surrounded by Pit Bull puppies.

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