The Truth Is

 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.

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