Must Look the Part

Must Look the Part

No one warns us about the silent, deadly damage of unacknowledged brokenness,

Or the miles of gaping wide potholes it leaves in our hearts

Like iron chains that reach way down into the depths of our souls.

In their hasty discomfort, they wrap their wounds in charade-drenched cloaks

While forcing us to swallow the bitter bile of our fractured foundations.

As we sup at the devil’s table,

Dining on lascivious lies and listening to the elders recount the sanitized version of our familial follies,

Not yet grasping the toll of so much human-inflicted carnage.

All are expected to readily participate in this putrid pot luck,

Neatly attired in our tailored threads of denial,

While the elders, knives and forks in hand, delicately dine on the remnants of our dignity.

“Chop! Chop! We must look the part!

No matter the poisonous dysfunction we’ve been forced to consume!

No, no! We mustn’t appear as shattered as we truly are!”

Our internal injuries continue to fester and any hope for healing bleeds out into our bellies,

And the pus of his filthy perdition now flows through our veins instead.

How do we love when we’ve only known this damaged brokenness that bruised our collective psyche?

How unfortunate for those who love us,

To sup at our infected table of lascivious lies.

It’s only a matter of time before we break you, too.

Published by

Rhoyal Empress

Liane Stone Ingalls (Rhoyal Empress) is a lover of all things creative, unique, breath-taking, and beautiful. She is a writer, poet, singer, songwriter, teacher, mentor, and an unapologetic champion of creative souls and the underdog. She believes in Jesus (not feigned religiosity), love, social justice, equal rights, equity, and the pursuit of happiness. She is an African American woman learning to triumph while living with depression and anxiety, along with helping her daughter manage her own mental illness. Her poetry is her love letter to the uniqueness of this complex journey through life. It exists to share her story with all the tragedies and triumphs as she finds her way through the labyrinth of being black and female in America, all while dealing with mental illness, in a culture that often condemns those stricken with the disease.

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