Fragmented by Meghana Mysore

I started speaking around the age of one. But the words
weren’t very profound, no; they were nothing more
than letters clumped together. Monosyllabic sounds
flowed out of my small brain and lodged themselves
in the air. Around the age of three, I started making sentences,
to the point that I could talk to my neighbors of trivialities:
the weather, the number of fingers on my right hand, the name
of my mother.
“What a bright li’l girl you’ve got here,” they’d say,
and I’d smile, not really knowing what the word meant.
Like a light, like a light?
Mama, dada, ratoon, I play—
these were my first “words” and sentence fragments.

When I turned seven, I was bullied. Two guys in my second grade class
started laughing one day and I didn’t know why.
I stopped speaking for a while. Maybe, I thought,
the words lodged in my throat were meant to stay dormant there.
Maybe I had nothing worth while to say.
Every time we gave speeches in school, I had to ask my mom
to write my speech for me.
I wasn’t lazy, no; I just didn’t have confidence in my words.
I’d stutter and stutter and stutter…

And then one day, I decided to write a speech about Amelia Earheart
and this time, when I went up in front of the class,
I forgot my stutter,
and dropped my notecards,
and let the words go.
Confidence gradually infiltrated into my veins and into my pen
and I began to write—poems, stories, plays—
and I didn’t even know I was writing.

I felt powerful.

Now the words swim inside of me.
I am full;
I am confident.
Mama, dada, ratoon, I play—I don’t know why
I hear these words ringing in my ears.
Primitive words, they return to me

cause now that I’m all grown and all confident and all old I still don’t know what to say.
I’ve acquired an esoteric vocabulary and got
an A on my English paper but I still don’t know what to say.
We are walking
thick, full of words, heavy—but when the definitions disappear
we are lost
without direction.

I am primitive
I am words crossed out by a teacher’s red pen
I am verb tense confusions, comma splices,
and we.
……..frag-ment-ed. → sentence fragment (consider revising)





Meghana MysoreMeghana Mysore is a senior at Lake Oswego High School where she writes and edits for the newspaper and literary magazine. Her work has been published in YARN, Burningword, Canvas, Crashtest, VoiceCatcher, Alexandria Quarterly, Cuckoo Quarterly, Stepping Stones, The Writers’ Slate, and more. She is the recipient of several Gold and Silver Keys from Scholastic Art & Writing and an Honorable Mention from the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest.

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