Jillian Morrison ’17 a winner from Spalding’s Word Hotel.

Jillian Morrison ’17 is one of three prize winners from Word Hotel, the lit journal of the Spalding University BFA program, for her poem “Everything You Loved About Me Has Changed.”

Everything You Loved In Me Has Changed

I’m eight

when I watch the sun travel down the hill so green

and my mind wanders from the splendid vision of the bottom of the sea

to the marking of a bumble bee, a clear yellow sting

 

I’m nine

and as I intake the never ending series of Disney movies

I learn that everything has a silver lining,

children must have manners, and boys still have cooties

 

I’m ten

old enough to fake

and I can start to see that people come in pairs

a concept that to me is quite hard to take

 

I’m eleven

and I now know that the less I say, the better

I don’t understand anything, including me

the only constant knowledge is the bipolar weather

 

I’m twelve

and that’s when I take refuge in my lost library

learning all I can while successfully avoiding the real problem:

society

I’m thirteen

and I can start to see me and my old self drifting apart

caught up in a whirlwind

as I move to a new school, with new people, and a new start

 

I’m fourteen

and sculpted images are all around me

of the same girl with thirty different names

and I realize that objects are all people seem to see

 

I’m fifteen

when I discover the power of sleep

farewell nightmares

as the day is far worse than the midnight creeps

 

I’m sixteen

and more lost than a foreigner,

flesh so thin

and yet they think they can get more from her

 

I’m seventeen

and my peers seem to believe

they can block traffic with the gold flecks in their eyes

unaware that the thoughts seeping from their skin-tight shirts grieve

 

I’m eighteen

and I’m finally over the shock of creation,

the great parade of youth

I’m over it all, the whole nonsensical nation

 

I’m nineteen

and I’m contemplating cashing in my pre paid ticket to hell

because who’s going to instruct me where to go

when I break the illusion of being a southern belle

 

I’m twenty

and I’m back to faking sleep,

shifting through the quiet ruble

in my ever vivid dream

 

I’m twenty one

and my destiny has already been arranged

but I continue to pray for a cool sunrise,

though everything you loved in me has changed

 

Jillian Morrison ‘17