always the girl at the back of classrooms winking out
drawing worlds in yellow paper margins
staring through water-stained windows wishing
something would take me away
and as you get older it’s hard for people who lived in fantasy
a rude awakening when you’re not hiding behind youth
or cuteness anymore
the false rose of your ill-fitting collar
starts to look to others
a bit pathetic
like shine through rawhide where leather
has become thinned from wear
for a long time I found ways to pretend I was relevant
tried to believe those secreted hopes would realize
just like in reverie
wasting precious time, creating fruitless scenarios in my head
because I recognized early, there were things I couldn’t do
one of them was become the person I dreamed of being
too many deficits, broken parts, irreparable cracks
great at small battles, but the effort exhausted me and caught up
wrapping itself around my shoulders like Isadora’s* scarf
dragging me into a mire they call dysthymia
then later another bog where illness flitted, willow-the-wisp
sizzling hope on a skillet with a little onion and minced years
you’d think I’d have learned ways to climb out
dust myself off, forge through, power on
master the long game, where wars are won
I just learned ways of enduring, which felt as futile as a scarlet letter
treading dark water before a dunking, cheers echoing
as time runs forward, I fell back; finding I spoke truth less and less
we are ever reminded, it’s shameful to admit your failings and own
the loss of your dreams, the ageing of your soul
fatigue behind your everyday, who the hell wants to own that?
To a world bent on youth, game-theory and saccharine
have others pore over your inabilities like sugar ants
haven’t you grasped what people really want?
Those panglossians who succeed in this world, empower others
write about things people want to hear, to lift them up
they hate your sempiternal reminder, not all of us can
but on a good day … just surviving seems some kind of dark humored success
though its sides are hollow, like my cheeks which I fill
with false smiles, counterfeit, hoping with two shots and fast draw
if you fake it, you can make it
a bit longer, just a little more
till suppertime, still solstice
until stars devour the sky
in quiet radiance once more.
(*Isadora Duncan died when her scarf decapitated her while driving.)
10 Replies to “Feinter”
Foolish people keep trying to find the mathematics to measure one endurance, one accomplishment, one kind of strength against another, to keep a score.
great writing! Beautiful words! <3
Such a burden. Isadora’s scarf a splendid simile
Thank you my friend. I have neglected this page somewhat as I am juggling working full time again with 4 editing roles in addition – but I so appreciate you reading what I write as it means a great deal to me – and I would surely have given up years ago were it not for support like yours. Thank you isn’t enough. I recall my dad always warning me not to cycle with a scarf for this exact reason.
Dear Carol Anne – thank you for your support and encouragement it means the world to me.
For years I felt a dunce even if IQ or otherwise, tests, proved the reverse. It is funny the power condemnation and poverty of empathy can have on a child. This is why I have spent my life trying to lift people up not push them down, that’s the easy and rogue path.
Lifting up and kindness really is easier and, to me, feels more natural. Harsh judgement is too much work and feels ugly. One way I’ve thought of is”
I’m not in this world to make anybody’s life harder, unless they work quite hard to prove they need that, in which case I prefer to avoid them.
Absolutely. I grew up being put down 24/7 and decided at an early age I would try to be the opposite of that – because it feels right and good and hopefully helps others – which if we’re not doing that and we’re only living for ourselves – just isn’t living at all.
Thank you so very much dear Carol Anne
The essence of what it means to be truly successful as a social animal, I think. I’ve never understood the drive of competition in any deep emotional sense, that desperate need to WIN and to know who the winners are. I think it comes of not having siblings and parents setting us up to compete.
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