Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Off shoulder: it now hangs loose,
the bands of blue lopsided hoops,
bra one size down (and counting). 

This t-shirt measures her,
a testimony of inner strength
as she fights the fat that binds the wounds
that scar her heart that beats her awful misery.

She will smile for them, those who laugh and jeer,
shout ugly names with carefree ease in an effort to deride her. 
She will smile as if she doesn’t care, whilst deep deep down
(their ugliness) racks up the pain inside her.

She has learnt to wear this face to hide her hurt
from even those well-meaning, those kith and kin
who even they, fail to see to feel her pain within
and offer platitudes,   as if some alternative to caring.

She takes pride in her few pounds lost,
accepts the praise but knows this pleasure will be fleeting,
for Black Dog he will come again, tear up her heart cloud up her mind
and her only comfort will be in eating.

Anna :o]

Susan at Poets United has us writing of masks and above is my offering.  Cheers for the inspiration Susan!

(Black Dog = Depression)

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  Ramesh NG


Susan said...

A Smiley T-shirt! Perfect:
"This t-shirt measures her,
a testimony of inner strength"
They read the labels, but don't look for deeper--
There is no alternative to caring, is there?

I hope this narrator continues to feel proud, but when she turns to food, I hope she enjoys the eating!

annell4 said...

This is a very sad poem...

indybev said...

The sadness in this poem leaves me gasping.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is soo sad :(

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So many mask that deep pain with a smile.......and ease the pain by eating. I resonate with her, as I carry some extra pounds myself.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. What a tearful journey.

Thotpurge said...

It is awful when people have to hide whatever they are going through just to be accepted and get through the day. How many are just walking around with smiley masks. Sad.

Sumana Roy said...

I think smile is the best mask for the wearer and the viewer though it's very hard to pull it off. It protects the wearer. Life is sometimes so very sad. Sigh. Such a wonderful write.

Marja said...

"tear up her heart cloud up her mind" powerful words and such a sad poem Why can't we just be who we are without being judged

Anonymous said...

This makes my blood boil. The pressure society puts upon women in particular to conform to a norm that is an airbrushed fantasy is deeply damaging. This kind of mask may suffice to afford some protection but in reality it cuts too deep. Well written piece Anna.

Mary said...

This poem expresses the agony of the continuing battle. The smile hides so much. I hope she can find a way to beat the depression, and I hope that she can find a way to happiness that doesn't involve food. Such a vicious circle. You write with such feeling...whew!

ADDY said...

Their ugliness racks up the pain inside. Such a moving line for me.

ayala said...

This is sad because it's so real and honest. The battle is there and it's not easy. I have a friend struggling with this at the moment so the poem hit home.