5.6
April 5, 2019

I am done Watering Down my Words. {Poem}

 

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When he asked me about my past
I was slow to dust myself off.

But I was an open book.
My pages were neat
and my spine was strong
from the weight of the cover.

And he said he loved to read.

I delicately stepped off the shelf
and was nervous to uncross my arms
and open myself up.

My preface read clearly:
My strength was finding the ability to make peace with my choices.

I was brave to pen the truth.
I was honest about my faults.
I am amazed at some of the outcomes.
Yet…
I have no regrets for the words
that flowed and ebbed
from my heart.

These were the stories that I needed to tell.
Some chapters were easier to read than others.
Some chapters were easier to write than others.
But writing about who I have become—
that was a sign of endurance.

I placed myself in his hands.
But I noticed
he was skimming…
he breezed over parts…
he was flippant toward many chapters
and I tried to look away.

I could see his disdain
as he came across a section
that did not sit well with him.
He didn’t understand.
He didn’t want to understand.

He lashed out
spewing questions
and
projecting shame.

And with every page he turned…
it felt like he was trying to bend me,
trying to break me down.

There was something
about my words
that opened him up.

There was something
about my words
that exposed
his insecurities.

There was something
about my words
that surfaced
his unresolved fears.

He started to rip pages out of my book.

He told me that he couldn’t hear those words
resounding in his head.

I needed to keep these stories to myself.
Through gritted teeth, he said, he could read between the lines.

Move on.
Move on.
Move on, he said.
But that is what I did.

I moved on and persisted.
My words can’t be used against me.
I will not allow another man to interject himself
into my story
and think he has the power to create a plot twist.

With every story I told,
I removed it
from my heart
and made space
for new
memories
and
adventures.
For every word I wrote,
I separated it
from the space in my mind
and accepted it—
it could hold no power over me any longer.

The sunlight started to shine
onto every page.
I let the truth see the light of day.
He did not understand the beauty of this novel.
And I am done watering down my words
for men who wade in shallow waters.

 

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author: Cassie Yoder

Image: Yoann Boyer/Unsplash

Image: @ElephantJournal

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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