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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

The Power Of Poetry: "I'm Full Of Hope"

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, August 26, 2006

Alex Trottier
North Adams - City resident Alex Lauren Trottier has a theory about life dreams.

"You start off small and you make it big," said the 16-year-old high school student. "You push for it."

Bouquets of big dreams are about to become reality for Alex; she is anticipating a move to Tennessee later this month, where she will share a home with much-loved cousins and pursue a writing career.

"I'm full of hope," she said during an Aug. 25 midday interview at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art-based Lickety-Split restaurant.

The future didn't always seem so bright in Alex's eyes, she said.

Not Knowing The Tragedy...

Her ability to turn raw emotion into intense poetry slowed and ultimately halted a descent into complete turmoil, she said.

Her written words reveal something much greater than teen-age angst; Alex's first poem was written at the age of 12 or 13, she said.

"I dig myself a grave 6-ft in the ground
I dig myself a grave where I'll never be found
I dig myself a grave where there is no sound
I dig myself a grave in the graveyard next to the town
I did myself a grave not knowing the tragedy it could bring
Now I know death is coming for me"

"A lot of my poetry is pretty dark stuff," she acknowledged.

But the writing was the outlet that Alex needed to express her pain -she's written well over 70 poems - and she believes that most people, including teen-aged youth, could benefit from expressing themselves through words.

"Some people have trouble with writing," she said. "I think everybody can write. Even if it's not in poetic form, if it's writing your feelings down, it's better than letting it build up and up with no way out."

Because, Alex said, even cleverly concealed feelings will sneak out somehow, and the written word may be the best escape route for anger, hurt, uncertainty, disappointment, and sorrow.

Life Taken Away In Handcuffs

Alex was born in Ocala, Florida, and after her parents separated, she and her mother moved to Pennsylvania. She was four years old when she left Florida. She was able to travel to Florida and visit with her father, she said.

The family dynamic was not ideal; Alex elected against revealing a detailed description of her growing-up years but did share her poetry.

"People think they are so cool
Doing drugs and breaking all the rules
What they don't see is they are messing up their life
Making wrong choices instead of right
People think I don't know what its like
What they don't understand is I've been down that road until
I began to see the light
A light that led me through the dark
I wanted to get off on a new start
I had seen what drugs did to my mom
They destroyed her life and taught me it's wrong
It's amazing how people can get that low
Doing things and going down a road
You would never think they would go
Watching their life taken away in handcuffs
Knowing your easy life just turned tough
Fake laughs, fake grins,
This is what happens to a life filled
With pain and sins"

The situation delivered Alex to the doorstep of her grandparents in the city and left the then 14-year-old young woman caught up in a storm of emotions.

So she wrote, and she wrote, and she wrote.....and sometimes, she cut herself, she said.

Cutting is something she regrets and Alex strongly advised others against it.

"I've learned other ways of coping," Alex said. "[Cutting] made people worry a lot. When you cut, you have to look at that, you have to live with it for the rest of your life."

Writing brings a release as well, she said.

"Jot down things about your life, your feelings, then you can go back and read it and say 'hey, I was feeling like that.' Writing accomplishes something, you can say 'hey, I wrote that.' I think [writing] helps. And people can read the writing and it helps them understand. It gives them a heads up."

The "Cool Vibe"

Her friendship with "big sister" Sharon Leary proved another turning point for Alex, she said.

She shared her memory of her initial meeting with Leary at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Inc. downtown office.

"I was nervous," Alex said. "I didn't know what kind of person they would give me."

Alex soon discovered exactly what she needed to know about Leary.

"I got the cool vibe from her right away. And after a couple of 'hang-outs,' it was great. It's not even like we are in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, it's like we are friends. I wouldn't have been able to make it through a lot of the things I've been through without her."

Learning to cope with difficult situations through means including poetry has landed Alex face-forward toward the rest of the life she said she is choosing to lead.

From Emptiness....

"With poetry, you put [your feelings] into words. And it seems like people understand me better after they read it."

"The life I lived was pretty bad with both my parents. I've seen it -drugs and alcohol- and I've watched people suffer. I've seen people die from it. I've seen the lifestyle close-up. I don't want to end up like that."

For those who may doubt the power of words or the value of putting one's thoughts down on paper, consider these lines from one of Alex's untitled poems:

"All I feel is emptiness
I've become such a mess
Lost track of all the times I've cried
Lost track of all the times I wish I would just die
Can't take the stress that's been put upon me
I wish you could just see
All this b******t you've given me
I had to pay for your pain
Now it's got me going f*****g insane"

...To Something Good

And consider the spoken words of the same young woman who in part, used poetry to heal.

"You have to have dreams. You start off small and you make it big. You have to push for it. Moving to Tennessee is a blessing, and it's brought back my faith to so many things. Everybody has their own religion, but I believe God is there. I believe we are tested. I believe God will never give us too much...if He sees it's too much, He will give us something good."

"That's what I think."

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
Your Comments
Post Comment
Blessed are those that endure! You are a beautiful young lady and to have traveled so far in your emotions at such a young age! Life is a journey, may you travel only up hill. Write us something from your inner energy that is bright. Pull us a poem from the heart of your spirit, and may it radiate with the love the Lord has given you.
from: Lauraon: 08-28 00:00:00-2006


 
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