Ugly Stepsister

You narrowed your mind

And it’s such a shame;

The wasted potential,

The weight of the blame.

It lies heavy on your shoulders,

On your mind, your heart.

It consumes your soul,

But they don’t see that part.

As they paint you as worthless,

Adorn you with shame,

They raise up the broken-bird beauty

Who reached them first with her story and ready-made frame.

She made you out to be the cuckoo,

All predatory and plain.

Too young to remember, to have known better,

You’re left alone with your pain.


Mother always said,

Beauty was in the eye of the beholder,

That you will be loved as you are.

She was wrong, you know, now you’re older.

Said you were beautiful,

In your own way.

That life would be happy,

One bright, shining day.

And so, you believed, naïve.

The world laughs, and you know she lied.

Perhaps she thought, as adults often do,

That it was better.  That it was kind.

You tried your best,

To fit in, to be pretty.

It was never enough,

And your flaws were your litany.


Now here you are, after the end,

Left alone, left broken and bleeding,

Your cries and your screams

Heard clearly by a world unfeeling, unheeding.

It’s easy to give up,

To believe nothing matters.

To sit amidst the pieces

Of a life left in tatters.

It is easy, like falling asleep and not waking up.

It hurts, and it’s hard

To refuse to say die.

Always watching, on guard,

Always hoping, even now,

For just a chance.

Cinderella got a prince, a crown;

All it took was a dance.


Here you are, fighting for your life,

Fingers worked to the bone,

Because it can never be enough

Until you make the world respect you, make your life your own.

Your past stays with you, regrettable, unforgettable.

The weight never leaves you, the blame ingrained.

But it’s yours, and that girl is still you;

Through fire, through storms, she remains.

They say it’s darkest before the dawn.

Maybe that true,

But what they don’t say:

The darkness can break you.

You stand, head high,

Tarnished but alive, triumph in your eyes.

Morning has broken, and here you stand.

From the ashes of rock bottom, you arise.


This poem is about: 
My country
Our world


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