Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shame

Something she said
shook loose the memory
and it fell at my feet,
like rancid cigarettes
from a vending machine
dispensing shame,

and I hated being its hostage,
and it took everything in my power
not to steal a Xanax
from my daughter's stash
because the thoughts kept
parading by
with predictable circus mockery
and I prayed for God
to just take me right then
and I wept softly
because He didn’t,
my back to her
so she’d never see.

I learned early on
some are
cherry picked
for love because
they were
born right,

and perhaps Jesus
is just the story
the rest of us tell ourselves
to make it easier
to live with
the dispassionate fact:

some are born
to be loved
and the rest of us are born
to earn it.

[Written and posted for #OpenLinkNight at www.dversepoets.com - come along and share your heart.]

47 comments:

  1. dang. felt piece man...pinged my heart a bit...i grew up in shame and its not an easy habit to break...allowing it a grip on your soul...love can be ellusive at times...sometimes i think we fear it as much as we want it...almost like a self fulfilling prophecy...but i have felt like this...

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    1. Thanks, bro. Yes, sometimes it's got me.

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  2. i surely felt like this as well...live to earn love and others that seem to have it so easy...yet i think as bri says...it can be almost like a self fullfilling prophecy and put us into a cul de sac and it becomes more and more difficult to escape

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    1. AT least that's how it seems. thanks, C!

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  3. the image of shame holding one hostage is strong and the idea that it can come from a random comment is too horrible and too true.

    and the last line about earning love reminded me of something a pediatric neurologist once said to me about my daughter. he said that i should make her earn my love rather than just give it to her. that was the only time we went to that neurologist.

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    1. Agh! Yes, one doc wanted to shoot my kid up with lithium, she was only 11 years old. Never went back there either.

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  4. Shame is one of the hardest emotions to deal with, I think. It does not wash away easily. Somehow a smudge always remains. I am still thinking about the love aspect. There is unconditional love, I think. I have experienced that and also given it; but in much of life I find love is conditional, must be earned and worked on or it will disappear.

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    1. There is only unconditional love - anything else isn't love, it's approval.

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  5. uff. this is stuff to break hearts. no one should have to earn love.

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    1. "If onlys and justs were candies and nuts
      Then every day would be Ernte Dank Fest." - Dwight Shrute

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  6. This is the stuff that breaks people to the core.

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    1. How true - almost broke me the other night.

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  7. Shame was the word (not "Grease") when I grew up, as I came of age, and through a bad marriage into a good one. Jesus is like God: We plan, he laughs. Not that he's heartless, he just isn't into our plans. We plan with God and with Jesus in mind, but not in the driver's seat... otherwise, we're ditched as always.

    Pardon me, I'm on Vicodin and my thoughts are beyond scattered into tossed to the wind for possible reassemblage further on down the road...! Love, Amelah

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    1. You've never been more cogent, kiddo! I agree Man plans and God laughs.

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  8. I certainly recognize myself in this. Many time you are imprinted shame instead of humbleness because it's so much easier to explain

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your empathy.

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  9. I really liked this very much. My only suggestion would be to change the last word from 'love' to 'it'. Then it's not repeated and the ready will understand it just the same and the end is a real break. Good Write.>KB

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    1. Thanks, and I appreciate your comment - it makes the ending more stark.

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  10. Buddah, this is a heartbreaking poem. Love should be unconditional or else it is not really worth it in my opinion.

    Pamela

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    1. Thanks, and I agree about love.

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  11. Ah, but then there is grace. Don't forget grace, which can sometimes be dispensed from the most human of hands.

    I miss you at my place, Mosky. Don't forget me.

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    1. Thanks, grace is one of those mysteries I count on. And, I would never forget you.

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  12. Yes, I think this is a place we've all been to, which is what makes it an excellent poem. Love can be such a tricky companion....

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    1. Thanks, I have a love-hate thang with love.

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  13. The shame and the pain, the need to ease it and the desire not to need it. I've been to that place, and I've always felt like one who had to earn love. Glad for my faith that there is grace. And a few others who prove me wrong. Great piece here.

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    1. I agree, but even in my faith I'm having a hard time accepting that God loves me just because I exist.

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  14. I feel ya, Mosk... but stay away from the Xanax, okay!

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    1. Thanks, and yes, I stay away. I am afraid of getting addicted.

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  15. Heartfelt and real. And that passage about being cherry picked for love, awesome!

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  16. Wow - agh - certainly a pain we all feel. Well expressed. k.

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    1. Thanks, I was hoping I wasn't alone.

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  17. Oy! that last stanza was a kick in the gut. This piece resonates... I feel that shame. Great write, Mosk!~jackie~

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    1. Thanks Jackie, I didn't know where I was going so I'm glad (?) I followed it.

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  18. I know that feeling, the way a memory can hit so hard that you physically jerk away from the shame of it. Mosk, you get better every day.

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  19. You've earned our love, Mosk, with honest, heartbreaking words like this, beautiful work.

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  20. Shame is a hard habit to shake.

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    1. For some of us, it's structural. Thanks!

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  21. Everyone needs love, no shame in that. Everyone is deserving of it. Sometimes, the shame is that people don't get what they need. <3 I love this piece, Mosk.

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    1. Thanks for your compassion.

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  22. Soft and quietly sad - no melodrama, no self-pity, just the right words in perfect order.

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    1. Thanks, your comment means a lot as I feared sounding self-pitying.

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  23. OOF! I really felt the impact of your writing. As others have already said, we all deserve love.

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    1. Thanks, I hear what you're saying - I just have difficulty believing it.

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  24. Oh, I just felt this one all over....so very well said.

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