The Old Painting Shirt | Teen Ink

The Old Painting Shirt

April 21, 2014
By SecretFlame PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
SecretFlame PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
20 articles 1 photo 373 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have a life. I just choose to ignore it."
-one of my friends


The blank beginning,

To which the paint would splatter and catch.


Softness that would become tacky,

With the joyful splotches,

And dots of childhood mishaps.

Hanging down to my knees,

Covering the frame of a little girl,

With her waist at table height,

Giggling as she attacks the paper,

Or canvas with uncoordinated strokes.

A remembrance,

A glimpse,

A dream catcher of liquid childhood,

That slips through the brush bristles,

And little fingers,

To land on the once too big T-shirt.

Now as I pull it out of the laundry for the first time,

In what has probably been years,

And fingertips flutter,

Over old stains,

Faded but claiming the fabric as clearly as ever before,

I wonder…

Slipping arms and face,

Through the once cavernous holes,

Is it…?


As I thought a perfect fit.

Almost ironic,

Now that I no longer need the painting shirt,

One because my “art work” is a less frequent occurrence,

And two because my strokes are neater,

Even as they are still uncoordinated,

They are not better,

Just filled with less fervor.

Irony that as my strokes became neater,


Life became noisier,


Until all the kid like happy,

That used to spill onto the pointless page,

Changed shades,

Becoming darker,

More like permanent ink,

Bled out from the brushes,

Blending all the colors together,

Once distinct now in disarray,

Into the heavy canvas that is life.

Glance down and think,

This shirt was a rag for the mistakes,

A shield for clothes,

From all colors unwashable.

Wouldn’t it be nice,

If life had paint shirts?

You could splatter and brush your canvas,

Without worrying about knocking over bottles of color,

All the mistakes,

And how they stain you.

The author's comments:
This was inspired when I recently found an old painting shirt in the laundry that I thought had disappeared years ago.

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This article has 5 comments.

on Apr. 24 2014 at 7:08 pm
NOIZTHIMS GOLD, South Jordan, Utah
15 articles 0 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If your eyes could speak, what... what would they say?" -Max (from "The Book Thief")

P.S. hah, try writing a comment longer than that on mine.....

on Apr. 24 2014 at 7:07 pm
NOIZTHIMS GOLD, South Jordan, Utah
15 articles 0 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If your eyes could speak, what... what would they say?" -Max (from "The Book Thief")

WOW, I love it! I really like the way that I'ts all not really in stanzas or even specific parts. the choppiness of line switching almost makes it all one long stream of thought. (or at least the rythym does anyway) Also though, the spacing keeps it just choppy enough to keep reminding you that this is a poem, so it has a different feel to it thatn just a paragraph might.  I like it when poeple play with the rythym and meter and spacing in poems because it shows that they aren't only feeling the emotion, but they are being artistic about the way they put it down. (whew, and tha's just the formatting) I like the meaning behind this just as much or more as the format. I always say thet poetry is just authors, trying to describe the emotions they are having. And since the names pf emiotions don't really describe it, we end up writing poetry. That being said, your peice shows a whole lot of emotion thats' hard to describe. it seems like theres a definite sadness that is over the whole thing, maybe even regret, and it's mixed in with this artisitc flare that gives everything an almost happy spin. Furthermore you have mixed all that I've said previously into this poem about a shirt (did i miss anything?) oh yeah, and i like the way that you describe the brushes and paints and the quirky way that it tells your point of view. -noizthims 

Hanban12 ELITE said...
on Apr. 24 2014 at 5:09 pm
Hanban12 ELITE, Lake Worth, Florida
133 articles 7 photos 631 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them."
Henry David Thoreau

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once."
John Green

I love this piece; so detailed and memorable in every way. I love the way you wove memories into this poem, bringing the reader in and out of flashbacks, and then finally, left them pondering about the future. It's highly relatable, and your imagery is fantastic. This is definitely a 5/5. You have a lot of talent worth sharing :)

HudaZav SILVER said...
on Apr. 24 2014 at 12:14 pm
HudaZav SILVER, Toronto, Other
8 articles 6 photos 390 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nothing is impossible; the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" -Audrey Hepburn

Had a feeling of nostalgia while reading this. You displayed emotions very well and poeticly, and I enjoyed reading this piece. Nice work !!

on Apr. 24 2014 at 11:13 am
Nella.Girl97 BRONZE, Ashland, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 437 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart."

Very nice! It hada very joyful tone to it and memories of a happy childhood that turned to busy life!  Great job writing!