Peconic Pediatrics’ Patient Spotlight: Samantha Kerrigan

samantha

A tremendous congratulations to this month’s patient spotlight, Samantha Kerrigan, 16. Samantha (pictured in a photo courtesy of the Riverhead News-Review) is a gifted poet who recently attended Poetry Street at the Blue Duck Bakery in downtown Riverhead. Poetry Street, a summer series of poetry open mic sessions, is a part of the East End Art’s JumpstART, a program that aims to revitalize downtown Riverhead via creative partnerships between artists and local businesses. Samantha was the event’s youngest reader and also received the afternoons only standing ovation.

At Poetry Street, Samantha shared a poem titled “Mirrors.” Her work examined themes of hate, low self-esteem, family, age and love. The poem chronicles one woman’s life, from birth to old age, possessing a depth one would assume was beyond Samantha’s sixteen years.

“Samantha is a truly gifted writer,” one fellow poet said following Samantha’s uproarious applause. “You are a seed that’s going to grow into something tremendous.”
From all of us here at Peconic Pediatrics, congratulations Samantha and we look forward to hearing more of your work as well as the accolades you receive in the future! To read Samantha’s poem, see below.

“Mirrors” by Samantha Kerrigan

Screaming.
Her eyes are shut,
Her skin is damp,
And strangers are touching her.
She is wrapped in a blanket,
And looks up into tired faces,
And she doesn’t know them.
She sleeps on the way home,
But cries when she’s put in her crib,
And the tired faces look more tired.
And when they show her the mirror,
She smiles because she doesn’t know how to hate.
They talk at her in happy tones,
And talk to each other in strained ones.
And she learns that the one who holds her soft
Likes when she says “Mama”
And the one who holds her tight
Smiles when she says “Dada.”
And she sleeps more,
And they smile more,
And she smiles when it snows,
Because it’s beautiful.
She’s scared when the bus comes,
For the first time in her life,
But it’s just as fun as it looks on TV,
Except TV doesn’t show the angry faces,
Nor the strict rules.
There is a boy who makes her smile,
And gives her a shy kiss on the cheek,
Because that’s what his dad does to his mom.
She looks in the mirror and she smiles,
Because she is surrounded by love.
Soon there are tests,
But they’re easy,
And she likes to learn.
But ‘middle school’ is a whispered word,
A common fear,
A threat used by teachers.
And she learns that school isn’t all about
Playing on the playground,
And learning how to count.
And when a girl on the playground calls her names,
She pretends not to hear it,
Because that’s what the teachers are doing.
Middle school is worse than she thought,
Because the girls are meaner,
And the boys act dumber,
And the teachers get madder,
And they don’t answer her questions.
In high school it’s the same,
Except there’s less respect,
And more cursing.
There is a boy who makes her smile,
Until he kisses her best friend.
And when she looks in the mirror her eyes are red,
And she wants to be a kid,
Because now she knows how to hate.
And she smiles when it snows,
Because it means she doesn’t have to go to school.
She graduates and her parents are crying,
But her dad is pretending not to,
And they both look more tired,
But to her they look the same.
In college she learns how to survive,
How to become an adult,
Even though she’s still a kid.
And there’s a boy who likes to kiss her,
But he drinks a lot,
Because that’s what everyone else is doing.
And when she looks in the mirror,
She sees someone who isn’t anyone yet,
And she somehow misses high school.
She gets a job that she hates,
And she misses when everything was new.
And she meets a boy who makes her smile at first,
But before he kisses her he beats her,
Because that’s what his dad does to his mom.
And she looks in the mirror and cries.
She moves away from the boy and tries again.
And she works at the same place every day,
And when she looks in the mirror,
She looks lonely.
She meets a boy who makes her laugh,
And before he kisses her he tells her he loves her,
Because it’s true.
And when she looks in the mirror as she wears a white dress,
She smiles again, because her life is new,
And she’s learned how to love again.
And her parents are lined and graying and crying,
But her dad is pretending not to,
And they both look just as young to her,
And she looks just as young to them.
She smiles when she holds her baby for the first time,
Because he’s beautiful.
And when he meets his baby sister,
He smiles because he doesn’t know how to hate.
And as they grow she pretends not to,
And when she looks in the mirror,
She only sees the gray hairs emerging,
And the tired face of a mother.
She cries at her son’s graduation,
And cries at her daughter’s wedding,
And cries at her parents’ funerals,
Because they still looked young to her.
And even when she retires,
She looks at her husband every day,
And he looks tired and old,
And he tells her he loves her before he kisses her,
And she tells him she loves him,
When he’s laying in the ground,
And she needs a cane.
She can’t live at home anymore,
But her kids come to visit her,
And their kids come too,
And she reads them stories,
The same way her mom used to.
And she tries not to look in the mirror,
Because she knows how she looks already.
And one day a man and woman come into her room,
Carrying a ballon and telling her,
“Happy Birthday, Mom.”
But when she looks up into their faces,
They look tired,
And she doesn’t know them.
And this makes them cry,
And this makes her scared.
And the doctor comes more often,
But she forgets him too,
And she looks in the mirror,
And she doesn’t smile,
Because there’s someone very old looking back,
And she doesn’t understand how this could be.
And when she closes her eyes,
She smiles again,
Because she’s forgotten how to hate.

1 Response

  1. What a beautiful poem! Please keep writing! You have such a gift! Congrats :)

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