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Life of a well-known Stranger


She was quite a nerd while in her childhood
Celebrated party girl, a beauty, in her teens
Sometimes you can glimpse the image from those days  
Sheltering sad thoughts that lie deep below
But you’ll never know the depths of that love
Or the invisible residue of pain now it’s lost

She’s a tough cookie in public, all right
Suppressing the demons of love wiped away
Struggling to appear calm, in control
Expected by all to be perfect each time
But you can't see the immeasurable hurt that's inside
No inkling appears of the cruel battle within

At night she talks to the moon and the stars
Like a mad woman might in midnight’s dark hours
Hoping a heavenly touch might save her this time
Settling unruly emotions and disordered thoughts
Her sobs intimidated by the strength of her mind
That drowns every secret that shrieks to be heard

Repetitively she looks at the mirror’s reflection
Hoping she’ll find the strength needed to fight
But all she sees is a trapped shattered image
Fragments abandoned from her story of life
Nothing more than her own fractured pieces
A million small slivers from her splintered heart

When she’s not there, they call her a psycho
Say that she’s crazy because of her calm
Pour buckets of mockery over her silence
Label her aloof because of the impassable wall
If words could kill she’d be dead times a hundred 
Yet they know, too, without her, how bad things would be

Changing pillow cases is her odd morning habit 
Bleached cases holding pillows absorbing the angst
Pillows so indulgent they never seek to judge her
Or her heart’s hidden screams that only she hears
Her secrets are safe here, perhaps only safe here
Vulnerability protected by soft cases of white

To others, she’s a puzzle, and sometimes she’s feared
The million pieces in her even she can’t arrange
But it’s all right this way, the veneer is as steel
Impenetrable and never to let her story be known
So understand if you see her, know who she is
A brave broken woman, just a person like you


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Michael Dom

An interesting poem to think through.

I don't much hold with bravery these days and that's probably because experience tells me that stand is too often a foolish position.

There is associated with 'bravery' what seems to me to be too high a level of denial or easy acceptance of some evil, succumbing to misery, a rejection of reality and possibly unwillingness to confront the issues and rather to cover them with a 'steel veneer' - the hard shell.

That's also contradictory to the real experience of anyone under some form of duress.

I believe that when a 'brave' person looks into a mirror and sees themselves as they are, then decides to confront their issues head on, that is when true courage is born.

Bravery is about us wanting to be strong enough to prevail against adversity.

But courage enables us to find our own path because it affords us meaning in life regardless of any adversity.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Reminds me of an oft used phrase where someone is described as "a shell of themselves" or similar.

The poem is a nice reminder that hard shells usually have complicated insides.

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