Note: I wrote this a few months ago for a talent showcase. After listening to many spoken-word poems, this was my first foray into the genre. Obviously, it is not perfect, and I may be making changes to it in the future or making it longer, but I am very proud of it!
Deep breaths, solid ground
Heart slowing its pound
My eyes will not leak tears laced with burning-hot failure
I will be strong
I will prove you wrong
As soon as I build up my defenses I will hide
So far inside myself that your disapproval will never find me.
If I cry, I let you win.
This is why I never let you in!
If I knew how not to crumble
Like a sandcastle besieged by water,
I would man my fortress
My being is a castle in need of protection.
I wish I knew how to defend myself from the insults
That pierce the walls I am still building
Or rebuilding, for that matter
Instead I watch the pieces shatter.
The floor is littered with shards of my pride
But despair is not a helpful adhesive.
If I could only be strong
Take the barbs as they come
I am more fragile than society demands
My power is in my hands
And I can’t shield it from the condemnation for long.
So as another battle ends
I stand as tall as I can and
Brace myself for the aftermath
And hope that next time
I will be war-ready
And I will hold fast
And the floor will not be such a mess anymore.