A new poem

I just finished this one.

and again
and again
so what now?
victim or survivor,
and what’s the difference anyway?

I’m bruised broken battered
but still here
my past always present
trailing behind me
sometimes casting shadows
and sometimes forgettable
but never gone

speaking out is hard
but so is silence
to pretend that nothing happened is impossible
but sometimes necessary
some days I have strength to speak
other days only strength to hold myself (barely) together

am I brave or am I damaged?
or perhaps both, or neither
or something else entirely
it’s the cracks that define me
it’s the broken parts that heal stronger
the path I took was painful
but the destination is worthwhile

everything that happened made me who I am
good bad and indifferent
I never wished for pain
or helplessness
or fearful trembling at night
unwanted gifts from those who should have cared

and yet
and yet
that does not define me
I am not what was done to me
I am myself
still, and again

a broken cup that still holds water
still capable of joy
damaged not destroyed
I endure
I survive

for so many years
I thought myself weak
but only strength could bring me through
I am here because I am strong enough
brave enough
just enough
to keep myself going

and in the end
I triumph
because after it all
(pain and betrayal and fear
lying there trembling and silenced)
after it all
I am still here
not the same
but still alive

blossoming into my future
climbing away from my past
my roots are in darkness
but I’ve grown away from that
I’ve grown
and I’m still growing
still living loving surviving

but more than that
more than that
I’m more than that
now, and then, and always

© bardofupton 2018

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