Poetry

‘the immortal strand of hope’ and other poems by Linda Crate

By: Linda M Crate

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the immortal strand of hope
they seek me, but they shall not find; i have heard the hooves of the horses and i know they mean me no good—always i have been an outsider, a misfit even in my own family; searching for some sense of belonging and always longing—but i have been met with criticism and judgments hanging heavy like the weight of brick house built on my shoulders, like atlas i have stumbled and fallen; but i cannot carry the weight of everyone for my world is scarce enough vast and tangled as it is—all these birds so eager for their trees, and i would have been content with a nest; but they always chase me out whenever i try to sing my song—i used to think there was something wrong with me, but i realize now my song is not for everyone but i am beautiful as i am; and so my heart will keep singing as well as my wings which will carry me to adventures of old and new beneath the sun and rain—but i will never remain on my knees, i will rise each time i fall, i will be not be defined by my pain and misery; i will simply carry the night with me and watch as the nightmares are devoured by my stars and my moons and my suns—and one day the birds will see they were wrong for shunning me because i am the golden flame of dreamers, the immortal strand of hope.
###

just aren’t meant to be

you weaponized your pain
instead of breaking the cycle
shattered me,

and my tears did not move
you to compassion
only disgust;

that speaks to me of a monster
not a man no matter how many times
you tell me you love me i will never believe—

always you wanted me to treat you as an authority
before you would treat me like a person
so my heart and spirit both rebelled

against all of your decrees
because you never even tried to understand me,
though, you’d claim you were the one misunderstood;

dismissive of my emotions, my worries,
and of me
it’s not really that much of a surprise

that i’ve reclaimed my voice with my silence toward you is it?
i used to lament the fact that you and i were never close,
but some fathers and some daughters just aren’t meant to be.
###

i’ve forgiven you

soliloquies of ruin and rot hung hard on your bones, but i was willing to look past all of that; i’ve always loved you even if you never cared for me—i tried to be a good daughter, but you wouldn’t even let me be a person; ruling with a draconian fist you used your pain as a vehicle of violence against me instead of taking all the dishes of your pain and shattering them—i guess it was easier to make me a villain, no one likes a strong woman, after all; strong willed and independent i refused to sit upon any pedestal or behind any gilded cage—you always told me to care about what other people thought, but i never did and never will; i am who i am and nothing will change that—won’t care if i short circuit your fuses because you could use some rewiring, a bit more compassion and mercy, a bit more sincerity; everyone always told me you were a good man—but they weren’t walking under the pressure of all your tightropes with a spoon in their mouths that held a single golden egg they were trying against all odds not to break, but i let the egg break and i’ve dropped the spoon; i’m much happier now because the past is behind me, sometimes it still hurts; but i promised myself that i will never be the monsters that broke me so i’ve forgiven you.
###

a heart ready to make music

there’s nothing human about using your wounds to break another, and i know you were suffering; but you could’ve set that aside—i was hungry for a father, you gave me a step-monster instead; i’ve always called you dad even when it put a bitter taste in my mouth because you did more than my sperm donor did: you were there—you claim you love me, but i’m not so sure; your kindness now does nothing for that wounded and angry little girl still crying inside of me—some days i find it easy to forgive you, and others i just want to hold onto the grudge; i want to hold onto the pain, want to hold onto my dislike of you—i love you, but i resent you, too; the anger and the chasms you created in me don’t just go away with time—the insecurities, the doubts, the self-loathing are all still there; try as i may to love myself i don’t always quite manage that—some days i just crawl into my wounds and cannot find a way out of the darkness so i walk through until the stars of another night give me guidance because sometimes it’s the moon that gives me better advice than the sun, and the rain washes away all my worries and all my agony so that i can spill into a new dawn and a new day with fresh clean eyes and a heart that’s ready to make music despite all the ways you tortured me in my youth.
###

the helm of woman

i tried so hard to fit in
that i lost myself
let the popular girls do my make-up one day
only to become humiliated
when i glanced in the mirror,
and realized that they had mocked me and my dependence
for their approval;
i was a little girl starved of love
just looking for a niche
they would never let me have—
i used to be lonely when i was alone,
but i have found i prefer my own company
for being alone in a crowded room
is worse than being on your own;
at least i know what expectations i can have of
myself—
and so i leave behind that little girl
who needed the approval of others,
and take up the helm of the woman who doesn’t
give a damn;
i am who i am
won’t ever lose myself again for any person.
###

my voice & my wild

happily never after
is a tale i know all too well

don’t promise me forever
if you cannot even give me today

because my heart has been
murdered far too many times

enough is enough,
won’t let anyone spit in my face again;

i know my worth—

you may say i have none,
but i know i am worth more than rubies;

one day a murder of crows will
devour all your bones

because they are my friends reminding me
of my magic when i feel numb and empty

they have always protected me
when i had no protection from others—

your tongue is a violent sword

i will shatter it with my compassion and love
because my kindness is no weakness,

and i refuse to sit on my knees
praying for better tomorrows giving away

all my todays simply because of people
who didn’t know how to love me;

i have reclaimed my voice and my wild
you will take neither from me.

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Categories: Poetry

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