Behind the Defiance

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Behind the defiance, a cold, empty space;

And I see it under the sneer on your face.

You say I’m irrelevant, dust on a shelf,

But with every word, you’re indicting yourself.

You rail you’re in charge and yourself you control,

But inside, you desperately long to be whole.

You veil with dismissal, and flip disrespect,

But your words reveal discontent you reflect.

While treating what’s good with eye rolls and disdain,

I see you attempting to hide from your pain.

The mocking, the sideways remarks made with glee –

But I know the target is not really me.

I’m not the real problem; I just play a part.

I’m merely a mirror reflecting your heart.

And it is not judgment that creates these rhymes

It’s sad resignation that these are the times.

And while the throng cheers at this upside-down world,

I’ll gladly take all of the insults when hurled.

It’s not condescension that creates this verse;

It’s fear of the truth that’s behind every curse.

For anger and apathy oftentimes hides

The emptiness that in a cold heart resides.

So I’ll take the bruises and every harsh blow

Because in the end there’s a comfort I know.

That even though now we may call darkness light,

The story’s not over, and truth wins the fight.

Yes, I’ll be a scapegoat if that’s what you need,

And inside I’ll pray that someday you’ll be freed.

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Questions

Questions, questions, left and right
Making me feel not too bright.
Where was this and how ‘bout that?
Makes my fragile heart go splat.
Pour myself into the task
Doing everything you ask
Still it isn’t good enough
Why do I go through this stuff?
Ask for help, then criticize,
Can’t you see it through my eyes?
Try to go the extra mile,
Still can’t seem to make you smile.
Ask me things that I don’t know,
Then refuse to let it go.
Wonder why I act so glum….
It’s because I feel so dumb.
Just a “thanks” or gentle kiss – 
Rather than all that I missed –
That would make my heart feel glad,
Instead of feeling kinda sad.
Maybe I don’t measure up
And I’ll never fill the cup.
I just need a single word,
Let me know that I’ve been heard.
Let me know you’re glad I’m here,
Then my failures I won’t fear.
Please, I need to know that I
Am good enough, so I won’t cry.

night talking

I was reminded today by a writing friend that I have not been on http://www.thinkingten.com in awhile.  So I decided to see what the prompt for the day was, and while I was there I read through some of my old entries.  This one was from february.

Last night, I was shouting in a dream I had.  I did not awakened to my own shouts, as sometimes happens, but my daughter told me.  She told me what I had shouted.  And then she asked why.

 

“Why did you shout, ‘Shut Up!  Let me finish!’?”

 

How could I have told her that there were a thousand reasons, from the unfinished thoughts in my childhood, to the desperate pleas for a blessing in my early adulthood, to the ignored and interrupted emotions of middle age?  How could I have told her that I had been longing for someone to listen – just listen – for so many of my forty years?  I had made a promise to be different with her, to see her, to hear her.  Even if I was shocked or disappointed or did not agree, I would sit on my hands and bite my tongue and……pay attention.

 

I would do that so that she would never rouse herself at 3 am crying for someone to be quiet.  So that she would never be tired in the morning because she chased a faceless figure through the night, begging them to hear her.  So that she would not punch her pillow, and at times – accidentally – a bed mate, in a dream about the anger of not being heard.  So that her daughter would never ask her why she had been so angry in her sleep the night before, and she would never have to decide which of the reasons to give.