Poets logo


never harden

By River JoyPublished 14 days ago Updated 8 days ago 1 min read
"Full moon at Falcon Ridge" River 2019

when i was five

i was afraid of leprechauns

because the one that visited my classroom

looked like mrs. a

i didn't want her to be gone

when i was six

i pulled my first grade teacher aside

i whispered

i don't want to grow up

she looked at me

with that knowing look

that i have no control look

they told me i was an old soul

but old souls tend to stay old

hang on to innocence

when i was seven

i cried to my dance teacher

because the song she played me

was just so beautiful

she told me

never harden

that pain is art

feel deeply

when i was twenty i got quiet

numb and silent

soaking in red

even to painfully beautiful things

when i turned thirty

my sensitive soul was healing

the world told me turn down my emotion

to soften the words i use to describe myself

to be less, quiet

to say excellent communication skills

instead of poet

because poet is a hard word

it is too broad

bookended by plosives

a word that needs protection

in front of a microphone

to protect our ears

from the tiny explosions

created by its toughness

i am not afraid of leprechauns now

i still do not want to grow up

i cry again at beautiful things

i use my words as power

because that is what they are

that is what i am


Hiya! You can now view and purchase my visual art! Including the one featured here!

slam poetrylistinspirational

About the Creator

River Joy

I make things with paint and words and light. I was once described as an asshole with Mr. Rodgers vibes.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

Add your insights

Comments (5)

Sign in to comment
  • Donna Renee8 days ago

    This is awesome, i still don’t want to grow up either

  • Em Starrrrr13 days ago

    Hell yes, you are a poet!!! I love this one.

  • Heather Hubler14 days ago

    I felt this so much. You worded this journey and these emotions beautifully. Excellent :)

  • Loryne Andawey14 days ago

    Being an artist is so hard because we create worlds so many want to live in but are too scared to make themselves. That's why they call us crazy.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.