Below are a selection of poems and short stories we have been asked to share.
I’ve got holes in my underwear,
and in my socks too,
t-shirts deodorant stained,
and the soles of my shoes worn through.
That’s totally fine though,
Because no one can see,
Under my jumper and jeans,
And see what’s beneath.
The discomfort and embarrassment,
That’s invariably me,
As long as I smile, engage and distract,
All will be fine, well that’s what I keep telling myself.
But as time passes by,
Jumper, jeans become threadbare,
what I’m embarrassed to share.
I desperately need,
some help and support,
To help to replace,
The things I cannot afford.
Before the jeans and the jumper have holes in them too,
Leaving me exposed to the underlying truth,
I’ve been falling apart bit by bit,
Unravelling slowly stich by stich.
Feeling useless, ashamed,
dishevelled and small,
Is humiliating and painful,
leaving no feelings at all.
If I allow myself,
to accept helping hands,
It might not feel,
as if I’m standing in sand.
Believe that I’m worth it,
And step slowly on ground,
That holds my weight firmly,
So I can take stock, look around.
I can peel away,
The old tattered rags,
I’ll be exposing myself but in part I’ll be glad,
As I NOW know its ok to be sad.
One sock at a time,
Ill repair or replace,
And over time,
I’ll shed the disgrace.
Until once again,
I can stand tall and true,
Knowing there are no holes,
In the soles of my shoes.
But from now on I WILL look,
Observe and keep watch,
To prevent holes from appearing,
In my pants and my socks.
We came from different places, different people, different faces; from the roots of different beginnings, different trees.
We walked on different paths, trod different trails.
We all had different things that have bought us to our knees.
But we had dreams!!
We’ve all known the inner workings of life struggles.
We’ve jumped hurdles and climbed mountains abound.
We’ve pulled ourselves up from our bootstraps.
When kindness, love and safety were nowhere to be found; it’s in this darkness we embraced ourselves.
We have known loneliness and rejection.
We have known hatred, abuse and disaffection
We have known heartless processes and being denied affection.
Despite us all growing from different directions; but we got through.
We have known lost identities and missing parts, about records with redactions; about judgements from the start.
We have known abandonment, fear and isolation.
You blame US, our ways, our behaviour.
This is your mitigation!!
We have known the dark alleyways of exploitation, vice and corruption
We have journeyed down paths of complete self destruction
We have known that you need to tow the line, remain silent, compliant; becoming frozen trapped in time. But our voices still there, screaming silently from inside.
We have known the pain of speaking out, of uttering a sound and then taking a clout. Of saying too much and then wishing you hadn’t even opened your mouth.
Of being caught with a sideways glance or when those bubbling words spilled out…faster than you had a chance… to anticipate the consequences.
We have known heartbreak and how to keep our eyes to the floor, to avert our gaze from anything human; we’re not people anymore – Or so they thought!!
We have known separation not just from others but ourselves, compartmentalised in boxes that we’re too afraid to open out.
We have known that spark that keeps us going. The ember deep inside us that is barely glowing; waiting to be fanned into a flame.
We are the people who have known the cold not only on our flesh but in our hearts. We have known opinions and aspirations. We have strived for second chances, new beginnings and fresh starts.
We have hidden in the shadows, been scared stiff of them too. We’ve run, we’ve fought, we’ve battled and we’ve kept on breaking through.
We have eyes that have seen things they never should have seen.
We have known hands in places that they never should have been, words spoken in our ears now etched into our brains; the touch of our oppressors, our abusers it runs within our veins.
We have known the insidious the callous cruel and wicked.
We have witnessed the deranged, cold-hearted and simply twisted; but somehow We were to blame!?
Now we are the powerful one’s we know our minds.
No-one can edit our futures, chop bits out, reduce or minimise.
Our history will always be a reminder, it’s our past.
Our strength…our passions…our determination will be what defines our journeys now.
We know the truths unspoken, the stories behind our smiles, within our eyes
We know that once we were lost, fragmented and broken
But together, different and one, we shall rise.
Saira-Jayne @ Your Life Your Story
6 July 2019