Old friend, I would visit you
but this compulsive state of
martyrdom delays our reunion,
then you slip my mind.

You wouldn’t recognize me –
this mask I wear, a product
of the toxicity that I play host to,
puts a lid on my kind-heartedness

I want to be helpful,
but carry a burden of failures
ghosts from childhood home
that plug my memory.

I have hurt so many,
neglected, now lost, family –
these useless ties are shadows
lurking, directing me –

I am sensitive, wanting
to exile the negativity, have been
taught to be considerate
but can’t erase the inconsistencies

Spend too much time
browsing, delivering a fragment
of the torment that lies within
am over involved with self

Really want to be my best
in search of something greater
but today the frustration
is too raw, am at a loss

Old friend, I have reverted back
to dependence, manipulating,
am mentally unstable,
cannot find closure

in all the scattered pieces
all I have to offer are bits
disappointing, really, stored
memories that menace

Believe me when I say
I am working hard, want to start
fresh, have a goal in mind,
have not forgotten you.

but am running out of
options, frustrated, can’t catch
a break, as the distance
between us widens.

(Image from:


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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