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‘I fear you’ll hate me’ and other poems by Linda Crate

By: Linda M Crate

i fear you’ll hate me
maybe the reason i thought
you could hate me
is sometimes i hate myself,
and i cannot blame you
if you don’t like
the darkness in me;
i try to make my light stronger
than my nightmares
i am not always strong enough
to be the best me—
when i saw your tears
i felt like a monster,
the most hideous creature
in the universe;
because i love you
my wounds are carved deep
in my flesh
wish you didn’t think i was capable
of hating you—
i never have, i never will;
but sometimes i fear
you will hate me
and your love will never heal me again.


there will always be secrets
i felt so much pressure
at home, at school
i was always too much or not enough
of something

felt like cracking beneath
the pressure of my pain
never could bring myself to do it,
and then uncle jimmy did;

i realized i didn’t really want to
die i just wanted the pain to go away
wanted to carve it out of the marrow
of my bones—

they say sticks and stones may break
my bones but words will never hurt me,
it’s not true; and i don’t know why
we say it—

sometimes the words that wounded me
the most were the ones i needed to hear
but i was never or rarely told
my days were long and lonely and brutal

didn’t think i could trust anyone
with my truths when the guidance counselor
took the side of my bullies, telling me to be normal;
i didn’t feel as if any adult could be trusted

maybe that was unfair to you
i am sorry
but i do not know how to undo who i am
i think there will always be secrets.


anyone but me
never felt like
i was good enough in your eyes,
but i tried
to be good to be right to be nice;
i tried to be a dream
not a nightmare—

i was mocked my entire life
from childhood until this very day
the people would poke and prod
pushing into every insecurity,
once these girls “did my make-up”

humiliating me in front of everyone;
and they took advantage of my
eagerness to be one of the popular girls
i wanted so desperately to feel loved
because i didn’t always feel as if i were

loved at home even though i was it just
didn’t always reach me—
i always felt as if my very existence
was just a burden to everyone i loved,
and i hated myself more than anyone else ever could;

but the words that were given to me
didn’t help matters any
i just wanted to be good enough to be loved
yet it seemed that the only way i could be good enough
was if i were anyone but me.


all the insults
felt as if i were
never pretty
or good
enough for anyone
always struggled with my
told for as long as i can
remember that i was fat
so that’s all i sometimes see
when i look in the mirror
although i am told i am pretty
i don’t always see it,
but i am more than well aware
of my ugliness;
in junior high my crush
reduced me to tears
when he decided to mock the fact
i liked him—
when i was in college
some person said i was a “manly
looking woman”,
and i was consistently reminded
that i was fat since i was a kid;
so please don’t ask me why i hate myself some days—
could you love yourself if you
looked in the mirror
seeing nothing more than the insults
you’ve always been given?


a vampire’s daughter
i am a vampire’s daughter
draining, biting, stubborn
i know i can be exhausting in
both my intensity and my passionate
i can be aggressive
sometimes i burn with such hot flames
of ire—
but there’s light in me
for i am an immortal of the flame
phoenix always rising from the ashes
one day i will burn all my demons
but in this moment
i still wrestle with them sometimes;
sometimes i bet i can only wound the ones
i love and i strive to be better than that
but i am scared to open up my heart lest the
wounds fall out and burden everyone—
i am a vampire’s daughter
sometimes the shadows feel safer
than the light
because moonlight isn’t as oppressive
as the sun when he’s laughing at you on your
most difficult day,
i know i can be combative and exhausting;
sometimes i wonder how anyone could possibly love me.


without these scars
i am thankful for my struggles
they have given me
but sometimes the pain still
hangs heavy on my
but i am trying to let it go
the past doesn’t always leave when
i tell it to—
this haunting ghost
whispers to me
in memories that come at inconvenient
just when i think i am over something
it hits me again hard in the gut
like a freight train
straight through my heart,
and they say autumn teaches us there
is beauty in letting go;
but i have always found her prettier
with all her leaves
so perhaps i find beauty in my wounds
maybe that’s why i cannot let go
because i am afraid without these scars
i will have nothing left of me.

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