Several new poems by Linda M Crate

Plank, Choice, Home Or Lost, Home, Lost

if you knew how hard it was

i'm sick of always
having to be strong
i want to be able
to be vulnerable, to be
soft, to be every 
part of me;
you don't even like my
strength when i am a warrior
you only like that i am resilient
and that i keep coming back—
i am sick of taking hits
of being praised for how many
times i can rise from the ashes
of chaos,
i am sick of being expected
to solve all my problems because
i am strong and smart and capable;
because if you knew how hard it was
for me to reach out maybe you wouldn't be
so quick to dismiss me.


there's nothing wrong with feeling

i remember once
when i was crying,
and someone accused
me of faking it;
reminds me of the person
who said depression wasn't real
and meant it—

if depression weren't real
there wouldn't be so many people
who were and are suffering,

if depression weren't real
then my uncle wouldn't have taken
his own life and he would still be here;
there wouldn't be this guilt in me
for realizing when he died that i didn't
want death just the end of all this
pain and rage and sadness—

my depression makes me feel everything
so deeply,
and after years of apologizing for it;
no longer will i—

there's nothing wrong with feeling or being sensitive,
but there should be something concerning about
lack of compassion or empathy.


the last letter

i still have the last letter
from my uncle
before he took his own life,

and he encouraged me
to follow my dreams;

so here i am
working this job that i hate
striving hard to make my
dreams a reality—

i refuse to give up on my dreams
or on myself because i know
that i am worth it,

and i won't give up on me because
i have seen how miserable people are

especially those who have forgotten
their dreams and don't even know
who they are or what they like—

i refuse to let society make me numb
to my ambitions or swallow my aspirations

i refuse to be just be another cog in a machine
that doesn't work for anyone but the rich,
i refuse to be anyone less than me.


when i am drowning

imagine, for a moment,
that you are suffering;
and you need a life boat 
but people insist you 
are a strong swimmer and only
throw you life preserver rings
when your legs are tired
from all the swimming you have
done prior to them arriving—
that is what depression is
because even when you give
them subtle hints that you are 
suffering,
the help they provide is rarely
adequate;
i hate being told to just smile
and i'll be happier
because smiling is proof of nothing
i can smile even when i am completely
broken and numb inside and you
wouldn't know unless you looked into my eyes—
i don't think people are good at reading
emotions because they always miss
when i am drowning.


i'm not wrong

there's no right way to
be human,
and yet society still expects me
to want to fit into their narrow
point of view
of what a woman should be;

i am me
and it's a freeing feeling
not to have to worry
about the status quo—

they don't see women as people
just property and broodmares,

but we have ambitions and we 
have dreams and we have magic
and power they could never
dream of which is why they try to 
silence us at every turn—

but i am not the woman that will be
quiet because i am tired of being made
out to be in the wrong just because

i want more than this world we've been given.


it's really you that's ugly

i saw them bully a kid
until he took his own 
life,
and people wonder why
depression runs so rampant?

any one who is seen as different
becomes othered,

i have been a misfit my entire life;

used to wound me but i have 
learned to love myself and my own
company because people can be
vexing with all their demands—

what i really wanted as a kid was
love and acceptance,

the sad thing is i had to turn to myself to find it;

i know now that i am worth it and so 
are my dreams

but little me believed that i was
a burden and incapable of being loved and 
unworthy of having friends—

to everyone who bullied me and those
who continue to do so i hope you know
it's really you who is ugly,
so maybe work on your own insecurities
and heal your own broken heart.


Bio: Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has seven 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 House, March 2019), and the samurai (Yellow Arrowing Publishing, October 2020), and three micro-chapbooks Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020), and & so i believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). She also has three full-length poetry collections, the latest being You Will Not Control Me (Cyberwit, March 2021).





By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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