Old Flame For New Fires

There is a past that lingers behind me.

There is and will always be

A dust trail of my mistakes,

A wisp of smoke left

From the cigarette I quit —

Squashed and burnt

Against cold pavement.

I will always apologize

For the woman I could not control,

The woman I needed to be

When the world asked questions

That I did not yet know the answers to.

But beside me, to silence

Every habitual apology

Is a stronger woman.

Beside me, is a new self

For every knee-jerk reflex that

I have not yet massaged out of my bones.

For every time I raise my arm

To beat down against the girl

Who ‘should have know better,’

This time I will hold myself back

And remember.

She shouldn’t have.

She couldn’t have.

The layers of women in me,

Continuously reflecting,

Listen with overactive ears,

They know they will never be able

To rewrite the history

They had no choice in creating

But they will do what they can

To set me up for a

Stronger

Happier

More loving

More supportive

More accepting

But always human

Future.

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