Ode To My Anger
by on April 18, 2017 in poetry

I try to keep my anger held deep down under the surface
of the ocean of my consciousness
with the futility of trying to hold a beach ball under the waves

It pops up and splashes out of me in such subtle ways
bobbing and weaving around this calm demeanor and a logical phrase

It leaks out of the corner of my eyes
as they peer out at the world with a look masquerading as kind and understanding
but inside I feel seething and sharp and heavy handed

My hate can expand and inflate itself to twice my size and cast a shadow on every move I hypothesize

It frightens me, like a dog that has become bigger and stronger than its owner and threatens to break free from its leash and run rampant through the streets, barking and biting at anyone that gets in its way


I think I keep my anger neatly stored away
in a jar on the bottom shelf of my awareness
tucked behind the more accessible emotions
like sadness or disappointment or even apathy

The date on the lid is labeled 1993
the year I bottled it up when I realized that expressing my anger wasn’t going to help me

get anywhere even though it coursed through my veins with an intensity and electricity greater than my own blood

The year I tried to hit back and discovered that as a fragile female of this already fragile species I could not even begin to make a dent in this world

The year I finally succumbed to the realization of the futility of my attempts to be heard

The year I condemned myself to a life of solitude and always being on the outside looking in

The year I started to resent everyone who seemed to belong to the club of people I didn’t understand
Those who were considered “normal”
Those who had found someone
Those who had found their tribe while I had none.

But unfortunately that jar of anger doesn’t have an expiration date

It continues to simmer and stew even though it seems so well contained


And I don’t want to hurt anybody
Which is why I’m so afraid that if I take that lid off
my anger will collide with the air of a world heavy with the noxious fumes of dashed hopes and destroyed dreams
And the chemical reaction will explode and engulf and destroy everything
and everyone that I have worked so hard to shield from my anger
From my poison
From that mean and nasty figure floating and marinating inside of this jar,
turning more bitter and sour with each passing day,
the one who could say or do anything out of spite and resentment
If she were let out and and allowed to be resurrected

But the truth is that she haunts me anyway, my well-preserved teenage self
And the sad thing is that she only comes out with the people I love the most
The ones who knew her when she was alive
When she and I were the same
When I was more honest in my rage
She hurts them, that she who is really me
And yes, I see
how when I turn that part of me into someone else
I don’t have to take responsibility
I don’t have to realize that my anger is everywhere
That it is a lie that I’ve got it stashed away somewhere

Because it’s really right here
Pulsing, throbbing, seething, no, SCREAMING
at my core
Burning and scorching the landscape of my every waking moment

Making me edgy, my thin skin raw
I tiptoe through the mine fields of my perception
Sudden hot flares of fury can be set off by a single suggestion
Little explosions that send jolts up my spine
I try to keep them inside
My face a manual override

But my anger is like a beach ball
Brightly colored and easily spotted from miles away
Floating always above the surface of the ocean of my consciousness
In fact I use it as my life raft and cling to it when I get too tired to swim and I fear that I will drown in all of that sadness

And I guess that I keep hoping that someday the storm will pass
That the winds will subside
That the tide will carry that beach ball out to sea
And I can swim to shore

copyright 2015, Siobahn Hotaling / Site designed by Boing Media, LLC