Poem to a Blocked Contact

Poem to a Blocked Contact

Autumn Jefferson
Media Staff

I wish you knew what I was up to. 


The girl you once knew

no longer exists.


She spent her days letting teenage dreams of love

consume her being,

infiltrate her aspirations,

drain her youth,

steal her time


She slowly gathered her belongings—

a handmade photo book

each page lovingly cut out

inscribed with the memories we shared,

the scattered fragments of her dignity

that slowly chipped away

each time she pleaded for the bare minimum,

and her armor of resilience

which despite becoming slightly dented

helped her emerge stronger


She constructed walls to protect herself

to create a space for her healing,

rebuilding the parts of her that had become so scattered.

she carefully laid each brick 

in the hopes that they would block out your memory


She moved her belongings into the space she built,

becoming someone you don’t recognize.

A confident, resilient woman

who grew to find solace in solitude,

her own company like the embrace of the sun 

on the first warm day of spring


I wish you knew what I was up to. 


Why does this thought breach my subconscious

why am I still thinking about you

why are you

stubbornly etched into the walls of my brain

your legacy woven into the fabric of my memory

looming over my past


I wish you knew what I was up to. 


Maybe it's the satisfaction of finally escaping 

your metaphorical hands of manipulation

that slowly tightened around my neck—

those fingers that aimed to evaporate my sense of self-worth 

as it slowly escaped from my lips 


Maybe you are a symbol of  

a moment frozen in time

where you were the person who knew me best

better than myself

the only person I wanted to be vulnerable with—

stripping down my armor of resilience

to expose my most protected thoughts

from the deepest pits of my brain


Maybe in you I see

the teenage version of me—

brace-faced, tight skinny jeans lovingly hugging my waist,

who is forever trapped in a soul tie

to someone who doesn’t love her like he says he does

because if he did, he’d set her free


Maybe, just maybe

I, selfishly, just want you to know that I’m doing better than you are

even though we both know that 

you would be proud of me


I wish you knew what I was up to. 


I live in my own apartment now, isn’t that crazy?

I’ve been through about five different hair colors 

and five less-than-perfect talking stages

but at least I let them in

I do things that scare me because I know they help me grow

I moved halfway across the country to a new city

and became a teacher to sixteen amazing middle-schoolers

I finally braved driving long distances 

racking up miles in the same gold minivan 

(some things never change)

I am a way better public speaker—

I expect to take up space wherever I go

leaving less and less unsaid


I wish you knew what I was up to. 


I, selfishly, just want to feel like I’m doing better than you are

There is something so satisfying about 

feeling like I’m



emerging triumphant

reclaiming victory in a years-long, drawn out, battle

because I’m proud of me too


I wish you knew what I was up to. 


But you lost the right to know

who I am

the only place you get to exist now

is in my head.