The Truth Is The truth is she doesn’t have a single reason to believe she’s anything but worthless. The story repeated over & over: the father who left, the mother who followed him in a drunken stupor, the family that claimed her but grew tired of her rotting in selfish silence. The truth is her behavior’s erratic. She acts in ways that’re random, unpredictable, like one minute she sits cowering in the corner and the next she’s shouting at the spider who’s come too close. The truth is she wears her hatred like a robe, clothes herself in fathomless fear, a terror that life will continue on like this for another day, another year, another lifetime. The truth is deep within her trembles a belief: there is more. If she keeps moving toward the small flicker of light, like a little star sparkling inside her, steady and deliberate, quiet, cautiously, she will find that there really is no space for shame.
I wrote this poem in response to a prompt in my workbook, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker, from the chapter on truth and lies that suggested writing a poem consisting of lies and a truth about yourself.
This poem is part of an online collection I call All the Shapes of Joy.