Kimberly Russo is a writer and English teacher of under-privileged teens in Aurora, Colorado where she resides with her husband of 22 years, Tony, a high school math teacher, and three of her four children (Nick, Audrey, Grace, & Maritza.) When she’s not teaching, Kimberly spends her time gardening & bird watching in her backyard and writing. Concerned with social injustice, especially the perpetuating inequality among genders/races in our society, and the stigma associated with mental illness, she dedicates much of her writing to these topics. She welcomes enlightening thoughts & personal stories on these and a variety of other topics on her new blog. Her poetry has appeared in River Poets Journal and Open Minds Quarterly.
[image credit: "Rapunzel" 8x10 print by Stasia Burrington]
Little Miss, Little Miss; let down your hair.
Repression and trauma have kept you in there.
This castle of stone breathes your dead air.
Voices of joy, friends, and fan-fare
Fall on deaf ears, as you cannot dare
To release the “stuffed” feelings and finally share.
School Girl, School Girl; break down your wall.
Brick by brick, you have built it, sturdy and tall.
Isolation and loneliness will end with its fall.
Through the rubble that’s left, you must stumble and crawl
Pick up your pieces, the large and the small
And glue them together like a porcelain doll.
Young Lady, Young Lady; take off your mask.
To hide your true self is a heart-wrenching task.
Repel from your loved ones, who surely would ask
What of the falseness in shadows you cast.
Peel away this disguise; own up to your past.
The truth, finally spoken, will free you at last.
Bride, Bride-to-be; let down your guard.
The tower you hide in, a house made of cards,
Mysterious construction can be split into shards,
Your only companion, locked tight, arm-in-arm,
Lures with dark promises and deceives with dark charm.
He keeps you from people but flaunts you to harm.
Woman, Strong-woman; cast off your veil.
Layer by layer, through colors you’ll flail.
This tiresome labor could cause some to fail.
Keep lifting and pulling like righting a sail.
Let loose your demons in a victory wail.
Clear out your mind, and finally… exhale.