Army of Ink The Red Tick


army of ink red tick

The Red Tick .

Red ink drips from slaying words of mine.   So I play with pictures.  Pour things into heads half full.  Make nurseries not rhyme.  Flip all that makes me go flop.  

She’d been told off so many times for making mistakes that she no longer believed she could ever do anything right.  Over and over again people pointed out how messy her writing was, how ‘bad’ her spelling was, how unsatisfactory her story was.  And so the ink, like her desire to learn – dried up.  And it didn’t end there.  She’d also been told there was something wrong with her, so she gave up wanting to know what was right anymore.  And when she was curious, she was told to put her hand down or not to ask questions like that.  After a while she stopped questioning her world and lost confidence in ever asking anything of herself.  But experience has taught her that if she keeps her hand up, it will save her from the lies.  And she’s also come to understand that it’s not the writing that’s important anyway – it’s the story.  A story she feels no need to defend, she simply needs to tell it for her own good … and to write the wrong.

Footnote:   She flunked English at school – but it didn’t stop her writing.  Didn’t get the commas or the full stops in the correct spot – but it didn’t stop her telling her story.    She was made to write the same thing over and over again  – but it didn’t mean what she had to say didn’t matter.   She was told she was wrong – but she kept asking:  “What’s right?”     

(Reposted from 2009.  Originally in ‘Rock The Boat’ handmade book.  Now in Clunk & Jam, 2019)