Self-Doubt

And from the deepest shadows of her mind
That dark beast rises, gnawing, ravenous,
It searches, searches, until it finds
That little girl, all wrapped inside
Her little globe, her halo of happiness,
Where she believes the whole world could be kind
If only they simply, and very truly,
Tried.

But that loathsome creature, and its scraping, clamoring claws,
Its empty eyes and gaping jaws,
Can pierce the halo, that simple shield
And destroy her peace for a simple meal
A simple poke and a little jab
For a bit of power,
a bit of this, a bit of that
To say to her “you could be better,
You should be better,”
To speak the slow insightful words,
Those veiled recriminations she’s already heard,
To be smarter, to be
Better, to be wiser, older, quicker, cleaner,
But most of all,
to be quiet.

Listen, listen, the beast whispers, intent
Its voice a lullaby, soft and succulent,
It draws her in, smiling, innocent,
Believing her shield holds strong
Protecting her from all who would do her wrong,
Believing all creatures to be, at their core,
Patient, just, noble and kind
She forgets that within us all
there is that beast who wants nothing more
Than to make us small.

And so it whispers, its soft deceitful tune,
Its claws dug deep within her sides,
Until she sees her image in its eyes,
All the failure, shortcomings, all the ruin,
All her vanity and her pride,
Until she cries out, ashamed, that ever she believed
The hope, the dream, the idea that if she tried
To be kind, to be just, to be one who does not judge,
That would somehow, in the end, be enough.

And when its deed is done, and the girl is spent
Her dreams are crushed, her mind is bent,
The creature creeps back into its shadows, sated
To watch and wait for that moment when,
In spite of all dismal things she knows,
That moment when the girl’s hope flourishes
and grows.

7 thoughts on “Self-Doubt

  1. That girl needs a sword 😉 Honestly, though, this is very well written and very relate-able. I wonder sometimes if everyone really does have that monster inside or if just attacks those who dare to give a damn about the world and the mark they leave on it. I’m not sure the beast is tame-able… but it knows nothing of the future. And it’s important to remember that the past is what the past is. I really enjoyed your poem 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kaily,and you are totally right! I’ll have to write a follow up about the times the girl doesn’t give in! I wonder that, too, if everyone has this same beast. We’re all so good about smiling to the world and putting our game faces on. Thank you again for your kind words!

      Liked by 2 people

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