"Built to Last"
by Tara L. Carnes



The words you speak become the house you live in – Hafiz



I took
the disparaging words
others had
flung
at me

repeated and repeated them
made them my own

built this house
of selfdom
a brittle shell
scraped and dented by
these internal voices

the shingles took
a beating of
rapid fire hateful words
fat –bitch-stupid-cow
which seeped in and
dripped
_______down
______________the
_____________________rafters
into a dark
spidery
pool of
untold stories and secrets

moldy wisps of mutters and sighs
repeat “you are unlovable”

half rotted
stair steps alternate
stupid -ugly
stupid-ugly
_______stupid-ugly
waiting to collapse
my self confidence


“you will never amount to anything”
slithered in the murky sink water
unable to escape
down the clogged drain

a weary ceiling fan
whispered
“now look what you’ve done”
leaving undisturbed a thick
layers of dusty
“you don’t belong here”

closet doors
stuffed with put downs
spilled out
_______“whale”
_______“klutz”
_______“ugly”
_______“four-eyes”
_______“loser”

but
when you know better,
you do better and
with help
I struggled to stop this
litany of self-hatred
this soundtrack of malice

I learned to put
good thoughts out
into the universe and
look at myself in the mirror
and say “I love you”

slowly, slowly
an orange glow of hope
bravely shone through the
cracked, dirt-smeared windows
of my soul

mantras of
_______“you belong here”
_______“you deserve this”
_______“you are loved”
_______“you are beautiful”

restored and updated
this weathered and wise sanctuary

the bones of this abode
now stand strong
a must-see remodel
with an excellent view
_______of the future





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