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Raw Feelings

The Ocean is Soft, like a Mother  


I sat sobbing on the soft, heated sand.   

Ugly, large tears fell from my small chin.   

Gasping for air, my hands covering my eyes   

as though I could hide from the world.   


The smell of salt burned my nose hairs,   

I ran here to hide, the Ocean my haven.   

It hid me from the pain and hate in the world,  

pain that my small ten-year-old brain did not understand.   


I ran into the warm water.   

The water hid me from the harmful words of my father,  

covering my quivering body with a gentle embrace,  

holding me tight as if it was keeping me hidden from the outside world.  

I had no fear while I was being held so gently by the Ocean.  


She rocked me back and forth, humming a tone only Her waves could produce.   

She stole my tears, a current running down my back gently.  

I could feel Her swirl around my face, trying to console me.   

A huff of air left my lips, soothed by the welcomed embrace.  


I was calm, as was the Ocean.   

These Rotten Feelings 

It didn’t start out as rotten—  

It started as poisonous feelings, 



My anger festered, turning and whirling 

like a ball being spun in someone's hands.  

This ball was full of malicious, antagonistic feelings. 

I was paralyzed with fear when I recognized  

what was running through my body.  

I felt perplexed— manipulated.  

These feelings were not my own.  


But then who did they belong to? 


Such thoughts caused discomfort  

to take home inside my body, 

wrapping around my limbs,  

spreading up along my torso like vines.  

My heart was racing, preparing for an attack. 


I could feel the vines take hold of my beating heart, 

engulfing it like the vines owned the organ.  

My heart roared, 

“You cannot force these emotions upon me!” 

The vines tightened in response.   

Lynnea Johnson is a senior at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. She writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The poetry in this collection is inspired by actual events happening throughout her life and feelings she felt during specific moments. With her poetry, she hopes to encourage new authors to write poetry and to let people know they aren’t alone in the world and have been seen and heard with their feelings. 

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