When I was fifteen I went to speak to her. The teachers at school were concerned that I was depressed, concerned by the intensity of my poetry. This in turn concerned my mother and so I found myself on a bright red leather couch facing a woman with matching hair (I imagined that sitting on that couch she would appear headless) – asking me how I feel.

She did not have to prod too much, I was completely in touch with my emotions, carefully taking her to the places I was stuck, the ones I kept as a recurring theme in my poetry. Loss. Death. Feeling out of place. I even quoted some lines from Leo Buscaglia. I had been studying his work religiously, highlighting passages, reciting my favourite lines. I found comfort in that, a sense of peace. I could tell that she was taken aback with me leading the conversation. She furiously wrote on her notepad, every now and then taking a sip of coffee. When I had finished my monologue, she began telling me that problems were like hamburgers and if we do not deal with them, have coping mechanisms, we will eat too many and become sick. Next she spoke about chemical imbalances in the brain and how there is a delicate balance to maintain. I lost interest in the conversation and instead found my senses lost in the artwork behind her desk, a beautiful portrait of a girl and boy standing in the waves at sunset. My mind formulated words to capture the scene, my soul lyrically recited lines.

“How was it,” my mom asked. “Fine,” I mumbled and sank down in the seat. That night I wrote a poem about Hamburgers. It won a poetry contest and the school awarded me with a prize for excellence in arts.

I never wrote about hamburgers again.

Copyright Hiraeth 2015