Poetry Month, Day 21: Hungry

Hungry

As I swam through the routine of my day,
Marking time in neat, small crescents of business,
It occurred to me, possibly for the first time:

I have lived a large part of my life under the petty rule of others
I have given my power to people who either feared me, or felt nothing for me
I have sought to aid them in accomplishing their goals, while neglecting
Or even actively subverting my own.

Through this whole process, there has been
A constant self-talk
An abnegation of my feelings
Rationalizations for complicity
My own denial of self
In lockstep with theirs.

Why? Am I afraid of myself? Do I feel nothing for myself?
Or do I simply think I do not deserve –
Do not deserve
Should not want, do not need
To be successful in my own right?
In my own way?

And perhaps the reason I eat so much is because
Secretly
I feel I don’t deserve a place at the table
Among all the greedy
desperate
selfish
mean-spirited
petty
brutal
callous
sharp-elbowed
people
I’ve surrounded myself with
For most of my life.

Well.
I do deserve to be a presence in the room.
And I will try, in future,
Not to bow out
Or back down
Or step away
From the feast.
Not to apologize, not even with the placement of my arms
Or the questioning line of my cautious shoulders
For my existence.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

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