Is it love if I love you more than I can bear
but keep ignoring myself?
A love that expects me to compromise
and you walk away with all conditions met?
Is it love that showers me with shiny baubles
but still leaves my soul gaunt?
A love that tries so hard to keep up
a veneer of 'happily ever after'
in front of everyone else?
Is it love that behind close doors
has us living together
no closer than roommates?
A love that grooms me to be a certain way,
all to please my better half?
Is it love that on you it let's none
of those restrictions stand?
A love that makes me put your needs first
because I have learned to be okay
even if I'm second-last?
Is it love if it accuses me of being selfish
if I wish not to mother a child?
A love that demands of me to choose
your dreams above my own plans?
This love that world reveres for having an ideal form
took everything from me and in return
offered a crown and a sash branding me
"A good wife, A good mother, An all around Saint"
Though rarely did I get a chance
or a loving nod of encouragement
to discover a path different from traditional walk
or to know myself and my wants
so tell me, am I a Saint because I never rebelled?
A phony martyr who out of "love" never took
a stand for herself...
Though usually I write poems that challenge my familiar perspectives and ask me to wear someone else’s shoes but this one hits home on a personal level. This one is a story of self-love, self-worth and autonomy that were suffocated to death even before they reached cognizance. This is a story I have seen from a young age unfold over and over again and have witnessed the aftermath when a human being breaks under the weight of expectations that society instills. I can’t say I know much about life or a universally right way to be nor am I old enough to boast of experience that usually only Time can gift. But sometimes tragedy has a way of taking over that responsibility. I suppose all this is sounding cryptic and my own reluctance to dive into it doesn’t do any justice to this poem or to your time, Reader so I’ll end with this: A parched land can never spawn a fecund garden, but misery thrives there in abundance as if some God is watching over it.