Question Marks

March 18, 2021

It’s interesting, isn’t it?

How teachers often tell us

that any question is a bright question,

and a good question’s only job is to be asked.

But kindergarten was sixteen years ago,

and my teachers don’t say this anymore.

We stopped talking about questions a long time ago.


We know how to ask the bright ones—

we know that asking is a good step to receiving,

and that asking is a good way to hide from telling.

But the more people I meet, the more I wonder

if we know how to ask the questions that dig,

the questions that swim and search and sift,

that chase answers that reveal and trust.


A friend once asked me why I’ve grown so quiet,

and I didn’t know what to say.

If you want to ask a question I know how to answer,

stop asking the bright ones, the ones people only ask

to prove that they’ve paid attention.

If you want to ask the questions that delve into my being,

ask me the dark ones,

the ones that sit under the surface of the water

and hide in bushes of buried thoughts.


Ask me why I used to hate ice skating,

and I’ll tell you

that I could never get the laces tight enough

to make me feel secure.

Ask me why I lie awake at night,

and I’ll tell you

that by four o’clock in the morning,

my body is still wondering

why I decided to do something good for it.


Ask me why I write poetry,

and I’ll tell you

that there is an ocean of alphabet at our fingers,

a forest of phrases at the tongue’s tip,

and no one even understands them well enough

to wade through their creeks and coral reefs—

but the mere act of trying

gives me enough of a purpose to keep coming back.


It’s interesting, isn’t it?

How we often tell each other the fragile leaves of detail

that float along the surface of our lives,

clinging to the questions that make us feel bright

and the answers that we are comfortable giving.

But kindergarten was a long time ago.

Why are we still afraid of the dark?


  1. Madelyn

    Oh my… this is amazing!! It’s beautiful, thought-proking, and so well-written!
    You’ve got an incredible gift, Cindy! 🙂

  2. Terah

    WOoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! My brain is processing and starting fifty debates cause of this poem! it’s so beautiful but ya, definatly thought provoking.

  3. Gloriana Maendel

    This is INCREDIBLE. I’m always excited when I see you’ve made a new poem. They’re so vivid and relatable.

    Do you have an email list? I don’t use social media but I would love to follow you. And if you ever compile these poems into a book I would totally buy it. I don’t mean to put any pressure on you, I just love your words.

  4. Karissa

    This is beautiful. <3 Very thought-provoking.


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