Shame

She looks in the mirror
She doesn’t like what she sees
Pretending to be strong and powerful
She is often weak in the knees

Old age’s shadow threatens,
There is no experience to lack
As she turns around
There’s a long road at her back.

The road isn’t flat
It rises and falls
And embedded within it
The shame that has become a call.

Shame is being different
Shame in that her choices haven’t always been hers
Shame in the pain that she has lived
Shame in the responsibility they force her to incur.

She knows she should be proud
A glittering life, people known
It is problematic in that lessons learned
Are not to be shown.

Violence suffered
Pain sustained
Reputation destroyed
Friendships maimed.

Femininity hidden
Through layers of fat and fear
Dead expectations hidden in adventure
The fire of a shame strong enough to sear.

Shame is leaving
Shame is her not being a compliant victim
Shame in understanding that they will not accept
Shame in that she cannot live within their system.

So many holes in that road
Beauty found, relationships had
A more complete life than most,
And yet she is made to feel bad.

The world doesn’t accept
Not women like her
Too strong, too loud
A silent flower they prefer.

She tried to be demure
Kindness and sweetness
But all it brought was pain and abuse
People are often careless.

Shame is her strength
Shame is her shield
Shame is why she runs
Shame is why she will not yield.

She tries to take care of herself
Eat well, be strong
But her body is in a strange place
In a way she does not belong.

She tries to let go
Let her soul be free
The world doesn’t allow this
Society always has a fee.

Expectations are high
Rules are set in stone
And should a woman decide to be different
She will decidedly find herself alone.

Shame is hidden
Shame is unclean
Shame in living differently
Shame in having dreams.

There are so many women like her out there
Breaking rules and living life
Insouciant about expectations
Careless enough to fight.

Enough of the fear
Enough of the shame
Her being is her strength
Her existence is not to blame.

A new road lies ahead now
A long road where no obstacles lay
She drops her shame like a cloak
No longer needed on an autumn day

Shame turns to strength
And strength turns to power
Her shame will never slow her again
From her future she will not cower.

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