Resilient. Tough. Strong.

Euphemisms for life having gone on.

Because every morning I paint on a smile

And tell myself I will be okay after a while.

Because the people who supported me

Want to hear how great I’m doing.

Because gracious doesn’t mingle with hurting,

And resilience can’t feel anger burning.

I have to stick to the script and say

That “It was all just stuff anyway.”
I need to show people a brave face,

Because honesty doesn’t have a place.

Tragedy is forgotten as the ash blows away,

And sympathy from people continues to fade.

But I am not the poster child for loss,

Because I did not feel resilient when I had to skip practice,

I did not feel tough when I bawled the first day back at school,

And I did not feel strong when I screamed at the TV ad profiting from my pain.

So please do not tell me how I should feel,

Because I already know that this is real.

The anger and sadness and emptiness

All together are completely crushing.

But I still smile and nod when I’m expected to

And pretend that I am resilient too.


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