The filing cabinet overflows with folders.

This one in the front, full of fading photos of a grandfather
Who loved strong but died too soon.
One full of overdue bills, owed to a mother
Payments always made, but never quite enough.

Here, a fat packet of magazine clippings
Of thin and beautiful people, glossy and smugly superior
Looking into the world’s eyes wearing their careful masks
Of bulimia, surgery, and Photoshop.

A better file, a collection of “Explanation of Benefits”
For appointments with heart specialists
Attention and care, no monies owed
This Is Not A Bill

Tedious annual returns
Careful lists of what was achieved
Measured against what should have been
A tax on the soul

This one, home inspections
Foundation isn’t what it used to be
Load bearing spine needs work
Family room add-on plans denied

The last one, a messy hoard of post-it notes
With scrawled and voiceless cries
I Can’t and I’m Afraid and Not Good Enough
Stuffed down into the folder and desperately ignored

Could show the files to others
Could ask for help with the sorting
But everyone else is so busy; they have their own troubles…

Shove the files down tight and shut the drawer.

I had the opportunity to attend a writing workshop (a great experience I recommend), and one of the prompts was to create a poem illustrating a statement about yourself using metaphor. This was what popped out of my brain. I’m not generally a poet, so the first draft is probably all this will get, but I thought I’d share in case anyone was interested. 🙂

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