Words Can Kill

When my life is a mess, no one could guess,
that I'm falling apart inside;
I've never denied, how hard I have tried,
to mend my heart when it cried.

I had always been taught, no matter what I thought,
'Don't let your' true feelings show';
So I buried my grief, with the secrets I keep,
in a place where I only know.

I couldn't have my say, though unspoken words have
their way, of causing ones' heart too much shame;
'Never let them out, those feelings of self doubt',
though my heart accepted the blame.

When I would feel sad, a feeling I usually had,
I could never show how I felt;
for to feel so very weak, I could never, ever speak,
so I buried it within myself.

As long as I wasn't me, the way she wanted it to be,
I was allowed around all her friends;
Yet anything else, of the way that I felt,
she'd expect me to pretend.

When I was mad, I was considered bad, and she'd say,
'Go to your' room.
Don't come back out, with that nasty, little pout,
don't fill my life with gloom'.

'Don't let me see you cry, you're no child of mine,
you must prove I did a good job;
I'll never impress my friends, if my honor I must
so don't let them see you sob'.

'I detest how you act, how would my friends react,
if they saw how sad you are?
I would certainly be viewed, if they saw the real you,
as a Mother who's child is scarred'.

'You must show them all, how you obey when I call,
they can't see anything else;
than this perfect Mother, better than the others,
this actress I call myself'.

'You're MY China doll, who must never fall,
from your' place upon this shelf;
for if you would break, my reputation's at stake,
and they'd know the truth about myself'.

When I became an adult, I still lived with her insults,
but I stopped being her China doll;
I've accepted her hate, though it wasn't my fate,
to be treated this way at all.

I have always lived, deep down within, the shell
that I had built;
I realized one day, she'd always gotten her way,
yet she was consumed by her own guilt.

by Ruth warren

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