On March 10, 2020, I sat down and wrote “Unacknowledged,” but before I ever sat down and wrote that poem, I already had so many poems I wrote while working in the toxic workplace.
I began working there as an administrative assistant after Thanksgiving 2018. I recognized that the place was dark and dimly lit and seemed to be full of problems. After the interview, I realized how much I truly did not want to take that job but felt like maybe the difference I made at my last job by being a force for good by choosing kindness and mercy would be something I could extend to this place.
Everyone I know was happy for me as I finally would be working full time following college, but not everything that glitters is actually gold.
To cope with the harassment and abuse, I would write poems, but a lot of my poems started hinting at something I never saw coming. I was definitely falling in love fast and hard with the young man I had befriended there.
It was therapeutic to work eight hours a day there and try to do whatever good I could while also have this secret love that no one knew about.
Which was how “Unacknowledged” came to be. I had all these feelings that were basically suppressed instead of expressed, which I understood was the key to my healing.
Once I sat down and wrote that poem on March 10, 2020, I knew it was time to let this poetry collection pour out of me.
“Unacknowledged” was 35 stanzas and 738 words. And what came out when I sat down to write this poem is the same poem you read in the collection. I present to you “Unacknowledged.”
I shouldn’t be writing this
A psychic told me that
“Nothing would come from this situation.”
A counselor told me not to feed you
With my thoughts or mental energy
I keep thinking about when I put a novel out
Should I acknowledge you and your seasonal
Part in my story?
It’s this persistent picture that
keeps playing in my head.
I see your nickname on the page
Where you dedicate a book to someone.
How do you dedicate a book to someone who blocked you on Facebook?
Ignores your texts?
Never offered an explanation
About why he no longer wanted to be friends with you?
Were you scared that I would beg you to love me?
I am sorry that I left without telling you
That I would never blame you for the
Bad and evil things I witnessed and experienced
at the hands of someone
with envy in their heart
and greed stuck
between their tongue
and their teeth.
I didn’t know what to say to you
I didn’t know if you would
Tell me to stay or
be angry With me
I saw them
For who they are
Instead of just pretending
I was dumb, deaf, and blind.
Gone is your musical laugh and the sparkle in your eyes
As you would smirk at me
With this synchronicity
You thought it was
All a ringless circus too.
The guy in the top hat
The Greatest Showman
No Hugh Jackman
He couldn’t juggle,
Or tame a caged lion.
Spitting fire was his one and only talent
As the master of Ceremonies,
The elephant he rode
Would spray water from her trunk
Killing dreams, Hopes, and new ideas
Left and right
She was angry because her ringmaster clipped
Her wings and convinced her she couldn’t fly.
Fly she could but he kept her chained.
Chained and dependent on him
for bread, water, and a place to rest her head.
Yet, he would demean her
Keep her feeling small
So she always had to
In his eyes only…
It was a dark and dreary
Tim Burton movie
We were a part of
But like Zac Efron and Zendaya
In the Greatest Showman,
The characters we played
Were not convinced
Their love was enough
To make it.
Were you mad that I cared about you
Or were you mad because
there was nothing we could do about it?
Were you mad that I had the courage
And open door to grasp my freedom
Before they hung me
Like the witch they believed me to be?
I did care about you.
I was so thankful for you.
I think you are a beautiful person.
So ordinary but extraordinary all in one person.
Such an enigma.
To me, you will always be a mystery.
Our timing was neither wrong nor right.
You were good to me.
I encouraged you.
You made me feel heard.
You didn’t look at me
For my body or physique.
Yet, whenever I looked at you
I felt ok to be me.
And for that,
I can’t regret
How I fell for you
With no real
Motive or reason.
I just loved you.
I still love you.
But you won’t talk to me.
So I guess I will write you the dedication
Because it feels better to acknowledge you
Than pretend you didn’t matter to me.
That you still matter to me.
That I don’t think of you when I listen to Billie Eillish
And remember how I made you laugh because I said she may be a Satanist.
Yet, just the notion of that didn’t make you
Flinch or judge me, and you never forget
Someone like that.
Someone who runs towards you and your outlandishness
Instead of away from it.
Someone who makes you repeat what you said
Even if you mumbled it because it deserved to be
Someone who always helped me, talked to me,
And believed in me until you didn’t.
Someone who I miss
Someone who I pray for every single day
Someone like YOU
You have to acknowledge someone like that.
Even if it was only a series of moments
they made an ordinary boring job and
Just the thought of you makes me look back
At those months of my life and smile.
Even with tears in my eyes.
I’ve let you go
but I just had to let you know
that I acknowledge
all you were to me and
all I hope you become.
This is for you
About the Author
Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.