underneath the makeup
the cozy leggings
the french-braided hair
and the swimsuit,
i'm not a full person.
i have early onset arthritis
my knees crack
my shoulder has been torn
in two places
i have clinical depression
i can't move my fingers some days
my feet are calloused from work
my muscles complain when i move
and my ankles turn more often than not.
despite all of my ailments
i manage to put a smile on my face
when my back aches and my
knee might give out at any time
because that's who i have
to be to keep everything
and everyone 
going; and i don't mind
hiding behind a braid and my shorts
so others can be unhindered
by my burdens.


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