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  • April 29th, 2011 | 11:34 PM
Poem a Day #29

If I learned anything from last month's month of play it was that I deserved to be happy and that I got that right just by being here, in this time and space I occupy right now. I don't have to do anything special at all to earn that right. It's time I claimed it.

Poem a Day #29

I have seven shelves of books
devoted to the art of helping me
become a better person.
This month I've reread one a night
and yes, I read that fast.

Some I've had for years,

Most of those I can let go of now.
I'm in a different place
than I was back then.

The last pile by my bed
is full of books on how to fix
something in me that's broken.

For years I was attracted to the idea
that if I could just fix
all the broken pieces of myself I would, at last,
be whole
be healthy
be happy.

Then I read a book where the author
(the nerve of him)
said he didn't think we were really broken,
he thought we were all in hiding
with layers and layers
of guilt, of anger, of pain
weighing us down
and he wondered if the secret
to finding our true path in life
wasn't as simple (and as difficult)
as removing those layers and saying to the world
here I am, just as I am, take me or leave me.

Fifteen years ago I would have scoffed
at the idea of peeling back those layers
and showing my naked soul to the world,
(scoffed and cried most likely)
because I would have been sure
that the world would laugh at me,
begging me to put the layers back in place,
telling me the world didn't need one more
overly emotional, touchy-feely, takes things too personally
kind of person.

Perhaps this is the gift of getting older
but I don't feel that way anymore.
I understand my way of looking at the world
is uniquely mine and the world,
well it's lucky to have me.

I haven't quite managed
to leave all my emotional baggage alongside the road
but I'm packing lighter these days.

I am tired of not feeling like I am enough
and tired of not letting myself feel enough
I am tired
of not being me.

© 2011 Susan Taylor Brown.  All rights reserved.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 6 comments — Leave comment )
April 30th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
I like the strong, confident voice in your poem and think your message is one people can relate to, each for their own reasons from their own life stories. This verse gave me goosebumps:

I haven't quite managed
to leave all my emotional baggage alongside the road
but I'm packing lighter these days.

Such hope and power in a few simple words. Fabulous!


April 30th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Ellie. I'm thinking that after I recover from poetry month, I'm going to go back through my poems and revise them. I tend to write long, and there was so much more I wanted to say with this one, that I might go back, write it even longer, and then see if I can break it up into several poems.

All the poems this month are really first drafts that I wouldn't normally post but a poem a day is a lot when you haven't been writing much. :)

April 30th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
Last stanza packs a wallop! I like your resolve; feel the growth and blossoming. Reclaim your rights! You're here, equipped with everything you need for the journey. It's way more than enough.
April 30th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
That is a great last paragraph, and also a good poem. I think I have the same books!

I have enough. I do enough. I am enough. That was a little piece of of paper a friend passed out years ago that helped me a lot.
April 30th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
By the time I reached those last three stanzas, I had tears in my eyes and was raising a fist in solidarity. Brava, Susan.
May 1st, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, the world is lucky to have you!
( 6 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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