S[elf]-es[teem]* (I)

Elves and pixies are the cheekiest of creatures:

if only they existed.

If they existed, she would too.

She would do this life in a different way.

It wouldn’t be a bed of poses

or easy-going or lazy, but

it would be a bed in which she’d lay at night.

And affection would be hers, and lonely lights

would not sight her way.  Instead the dark would

hark her back to memories, shared with lovers

and others across the better parts of her life.

And in the end all she wants is a job and a chance

of making a go of what’s

left of the show: this is the reality of which

she finds herself talking; and

the skills she may have are too generous and kind

to be played with like this, to be taunted and

flaunted by people who know better.

And the test of the rest of this universal

frown undoes her very being;

makes her feel so bloody down.

They’ve achieved their goals: they’ve showed her

what to do in the presence of the already 

attempted: the next step she should take

she believes, sees, fears and no longer wants to


this is fuck, fuck, fuck –

and fuckety fuck for her.


And as a result, they’ll have to excuse her

if she chooses to ask, but the question does come

directly to her mind: why on earth,

why?  Why does any of

what she does these days

matter at all to anyone

at all?


* This poem, as you might imagine, is about the challenges of low self-esteem.  It’s a difficult one for many people, as it can affect their ability to achieve in life.  Achieving isn’t everything, of course: loving your people and helping them to achieve can also work fine as a course of action to be resiliently pursued.  But fulfilling one’s own promise is a kindly act of worship, even when one might not believe in any deity in particular.


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