Only on rare occasions am I ever tempted to feel as though I might just get on top of things.
Other days, like today, I realise yet again just how little most people value me, or anything I do.
Seriously, universe, what am I doing wrong?
I work hard, I’m a loyal friend, and I care more about people than most of them will ever realise. It’s true that I don’t come in the smallest package with the sleekest, glossiest wrapping, but if I’m given the choice of someone who “fits an image” or someone who will both help me and defend me or die trying, I know which person I’d pick to have on my team. I’m not perfect, but who is?
So, tonight I’ve spent a few hours trying to think through and process how I feel and why, In that process, the words of one of my own poems came back to me. I wrote ‘Cold Shoulder’ on a previous occasion when other people’s behaviour left me feeling a similar way.
Many years I’ve lived on the Cold Shoulder
An inhospitable, stony place –
Where there’s little but frosty silence,
No allowance for comfort or grace.
The chill wind of indifference
Cuts the air without making a sound,
Skittering icy flakes of apathy
And leaves’ skeletons over the ground.
A fine specimen of resilience,
I’m a fine diamond in the rough,
A survivor of hostile conditions
Where life is invariably tough.
I suffer no delusions of love –
For that loss I have frequently wept;
But knowing I don’t matter at all
Is the hardest of truths to accept.
Weary of relentless erosion,
I implore the stone lords for reprieve,
But there is no reward for devotion
To those in whom you don’t believe.
Let them preach not to me of salvation
When they hold all the power in their hands
To inflict such complete desolation –
One could never meet all their demands.
So I remain here on the Shoulder
In this treacherous, heartless place:
Although frigid, this landscape is honest,
And each rock only has the one face.
©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam
This is not new territory for me. I have survived every other “kick in the head”, and I’ll survive this one, because I refuse to lay down, shut up and die. And I’ll make all seven people who do actually care about me proud in the process… again.
It does make me wonder, though, why I fall into that same trap of assuming that anyone else ever actually tries to see my worth, or cares about it.
Apparently, I never learn.
‘Cold Shoulder’ is published in ‘The Passing Of The Night’
by Joanne Van Leerdam.