being bullied as a child
being shy, my weight,
the color of my eyes,
my laugh, my refusal to
my clothes, my sensitivity—
anything perceived as weakness
was a weapon they’d use
it wasn’t until my uncle
took his own life
I realized that i didn’t want to die
just wanted the pain inside
of me to wither away
like a flower before winter;
and I feel so guilty for being so lost
inside my own pain
that I didn’t realize he had struggles
of his own—
but he told me to chase my dreams
relentlessly and never let them go,
and so, I am here holding onto this anthem;
hoping one day I can make him proud.
Linda M. Crate’s poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has six published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), more than bone music (Clare Songbirds Publishing, March 2019), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Productions, June 2018).
Follow Linda on twitter @thysilverdoe
Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash.