Private Conversations

my mind is not a place
for you to enter
with insults
or indignity
your anger has no place in me

I will open my mind
again and again
and release the negativity
that you bring forth

I will put myself
back together
again and again
your torment will not break me
I want to tell you
where it hurts
how it hurts
the pain I feel
from the loss
of my father
the anger I feel
from the wrath
of my mother
but every time
you get close
I shut the door
to the part of me
that wants to
be vulnerable with you
and I wonder
will you ever
really know me?
weakness will
reveal your area
of abandoned strength
stolen by
someone else’s limitations
left to die
in someone else’s grave
retrieve it
take back your strength
love it
honor it
no longer denied
no longer afraid
your strength is your power
there is a part of me
that cleanses
the fabric of my being
every week
every month
layers of white clouds
moving across my body
rain falling from my eyes
washing away words
that hurt my spirit
all that remains
are tiny specks
of strength
glowing like stars
on my soul
my soul aches to be seen
but it is invisible to you
blocked by your vision
of perfection
my soul aches to be heard
but each time it sings
it gets lost in the sound
of your rage
my soul is not a blank canvas
for you to paint your pain
or etch your story
or leave your mark
my soul is the water
the sky
the mountains
the music
the stars
the dancer
the love

Artwork by Susan Fraser-Hughes