The Writing Prompt My Students Gave Me Produced This

For this free write, I was supposed to use “rainbow” and “need” throughout this piece:

I am not who you think I am.

After the rains fell, after the rainbows filled the sky, after the sun took away the clouds, after the clouds no longer needed the sky, after the sky rebelled, after the rebellion was squelched, there I was, the story, the word, the pauses in your diction, the spelling error, the line break, the page, and yes, the stage for your heartbreak to perform for god knows who. I am there in your dramatic gestures, yes I am the word made metaphor called poem and verse, each stanza, each metonym.

When I was an ugly little girl, I dreamed of being rainbows. My mama told me a a story about the god of clay and kiln. He took the earth and made a girl, beautiful moss and loam and worms and seeds and grass, the things you need on this green earth, the things that grow and blossom. Ever since then, I touched the sky at midnight, in winter, when there was no moon. Just dark. Just stars.

Who wanted to be a rockstar when she was a girl, and needed love from people who didn’t know she was there. Just breathing.

Who hated rainbows when she was a girl, because all she wanted was for it to rain, to mask the fact that all she did was try not to cry all the time.

Who climbs the mountain because it is there, because at the top you can see far across the sea.

Poem: To Survive an Apocalypse, a Girl Needs Light and Power

To walk unharassed, solar lanterns, flashlights, firewood, a firearm
To call for assistance, chargers and batteries, a mobile phone holstered to her hip
To get to safety, gasoline, siphoned into cans from unattended cars

In lieu of starvation, she will break and enter, she will steal her daily bread
In lieu of being sold to pedophiles and pimps, she will scavenge scraps and supplies
In lieu of rape, she will stand watch tonight, so that her sisters can sleep