When you grow up in a hurricane
there is no calm in the eye of a storm.
Silence descends, it blankets,
but you – you are still a creature of fine-tuned
muscles from navigating gale force winds.
Though the breeze is as gentle as
the sigh of a summer night,
you’ll walk with a shoulder-hunched tilt,
side-eyeing every puff drifting across the sky.
In your hail-hardened skin, you are
overdressed for a dry and quiet existence.
You’ll fall to your knees to pray for rain
then wait for the thunder
because a world under a grey and churning sky
is the only place where you will make sense.
Michelle Hillyard is a spoken word poet from Mississauga, Ontario. She is a current member of the 2018 Burlington Poetry Slam team, and was Toronto Poetry Slam’s representative at the 2018 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam competition where she placed 9th in the country. She is the workshop coordinator for the Mississauga Writers Group, and was recently awarded the 2018 MARTY award from the Mississauga Arts Council for emerging literary arts. She’s a proud neurodivergent mother of three children.
Her work often focuses on neurodiversity, autism acceptance, mental illness and body positivity.