Below Standard

Just below the skin’s surface the whispers have begun
“Whiner” “Hypochondriac” “Drama Queen”
I search the faces around me for the source

All seem serene, helpful and sympathetic
Arms reach out to hold me, support me and offer hugs
No sound emanates from those lips

Desperation increases as the voices grow louder
“Again?” “More?” “Will it never end?”
I dive for my bed, buried beneath the covers

Chastising, unloving, shaming
This is my own unkind voice
Learned at my father’s knee

A choice presents itself
Accept the cold, critical words
or rise above to self-love and acceptance

Which shall I choose?

About Julie Brandon

60ish poet/playwright/blogger living near the Windy City
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