Poetry

1.

I wrote this for you

But not in the way you think

As the story gets told

It’s only my stomach that sinks

My cautionary tale

Master in rationalization

I get only the echo

Wrapped in layers of indignation

Daring to go further

Only losing more ground

You were so relieved

Two different shades of brown

2.

Berated into submission

Were you proud of my silence

A complete failure of recognition

This double act of institutionalized violence

Did you know what it meant

Was my pain not sincere

Your incompetence became consent

I felt the effects for years

How much time did I spend fighting

The reoccurring gaslighting

Hit the parts no one could see

It was not a stick that broke me…

3.

Is this what I’m supposed to call home

The ache in my vagabond bones

The loneliness that crowds my head

Different paths forged from the same

Push back against expectation

I am silenced by my own rage

Maybe all I had was not all I gave

Maybe walking away was just as brave

4.

Castle there in the valley

The kids were left aghast

She wrecked him by the river

I swear I’m keeping track

She played with practical alchemy

Questioned my loyal neutrality

Packed a bag and headed back

… I already knew that

5.

So this is where we stand

Face to face shaking hands

Don’t dare catch the other’s eye

Anything now is just a lie

Stop overthinking, don’t go there

You’ve come so far, stay aware

Drifting into endless what-ifs

Fingers fidget, muscles stiff

Time’s flown by far too fast

I’m not going to be the one stuck in the past

Not sure where they’re going

It’s tough, not knowing

Stay quiet, shy away

Too many feelings not meant for display

The time has come no turning back

Look on forward, this is your track

You breathe, take a second to pause

Reflect on the misconstrued cause

I thought you could love me

So why did you leave

Stark consequences of reality

6.

A battle against will

The triumph of skill

A gain of loss

Weighed incorrectly against the cost

A feeling of familiar home

Who would’ve known

A succession of respect

As close to appearances as one gets

 Fractured identity

The solution a more than tragic remedy

End with a convoluted beginning

A game truly worth winning

Acts surely considered reprehensible

She made herself completely indispensable

7.

Climb the stairs to the top of the tower

And I’d cast you out to save myself

Cries taken to the streets

Here’s something that doesn’t bode well

The last one that’s left

Luxuries to give up

6 feet just wasn’t enough

8.

What more could they really do to me

They long ago took my mind

Strip my hair

Pretend I’m not all there

Go ahead paint me white

False reflections

False protections

Hidden in plain sight

Was it futility, strength, or cowardice

Go ahead paint me white

Look at this disaster

The staggering divide

Black passing

White beauty

Go ahead paint me white

9.

The punted pieces of initiation

Deliberately dictated show of allegiance

Stitched together lessons known by heart

But trust is tracked in faded scars

I’m not here to sing the praises of our own arrival

It’s just archival

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