The Shadow of Shame

Head down, absorbed with your mundane task,
you diligently work with pregnant anticipation.
Hesitantly, I approach,
offering commendation.
Straightening, you stare through me
and turn your back
your silence a concrete wall
between us.

Embarrassed, I retreat
across the frozen landscape
of your inhospitality,
stinging with rejection,
stumbling in my own
awkwardness.

Lounging, you revel
in upcoming adventures
Confident and capable
Shining with radiance.

Overshadowed by your beauty
and superior wit
I am silent,
floundering in my incapability,
not wishing to appear the fool.

I catch you searching,
seeking a place to land
and call your name,
hurrying to catch you,
but you ignore me,
intent on finding your own answer.
Feeling inadequate I shrink back
and hope no one has seen.

I never measure up.
Something about me
elicits shunning.
I am nondescript
invisible.

A young man,
tortured and in trouble
invites me in.
We share a lot in common,
he too knows loss
and condemnation.
He too has made mistakes
and suffered consequences.
He is a willing companion,
and I have found acceptance.

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2 comments

    1. Thanks, I wasn’t sure it was a happy ending – only a statement of how the broken find the broken. The poem is a series of dreams threaded together, all on the theme of relationships. I noticed when I put it together that shame is the common theme in all attempts – the self-castigation and doubt that is born of that negativity.

      Like

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