Smile darling!

Do not tell me to smile;

My mouth is not yours to control,

My face is not yours to change,

My mood is not yours to own.


I do not belong to you and none

Of me is yours to take.

Neither do I need you,

Nor want you,

Nor know you.


I have enough friends and

I have had enough of you,

Your words in my ear,

Your fingers on my arm.


I am a person, not a puppet,

You are so, so wrong to think

That I owe you anything.


Never tell me it is lighthearted

When you get excited by the fear in my eyes.

If you have a daughter

I hope she never feels the same fear.




Like a cog in the workings of a clock,

I am pushed around

By the other cogs.

Alone I feel the gears

Grinding against me.

They do not know how I feel,

While I cannot understand their inner thoughts.

We must assume each other to be fine;

Everything is alright,

So long as we keep working,

The clock must keep ticking.


With digital clocks we are less useful.

Trying to prove our usefulness

Every day

As we are told that we are replaceable;

Younger cogs are brighter,

If we try to stop or slow down

We become warped

And we will not be the same again.


Sticky sweetness bound together

By oats in the morning drizzle

Grey days poured away with the milk

As the sugar clumps in my mouth.

Waking up before daybreak

To only the light from the water tower,

I pull my scratchy tights on,

Stumble downstairs to my breakfast.

I am so tired and eat so slowly

That the porridge hardens and cools,

Feeling heavy in my stomach.

Dawn streaks across the sky while I rush,

Late again, to my classes.

I cannot say I  miss those primary school days.






Winter Wonderland

The rink is sliced up from the many feet

That have cut across it with their blades,

Some nimble, some unsteady as a foal,

Scarring the ice in every direction.

The rain has come and gone,

Leaving behind several shallow puddles

Which we must skirt around.


My woolen scarf is wound tight around my neck,

But my gloves are worn through,

So I feel the warmth of your dry hands.

When you press your thumbs against mine

I wonder at what we have lost

Time and time again.


I feel your soft imprint on my palm, on my mind.

Never have I been so at war within myself,

starting to feel like I don’t have any answers.


We could live anywhere but here

Yet we never feel at home

Neither in the heat nor in the snow and the damaged ice.






I sit like a metronome

Head straight and eyes swinging back and forth

As they argue ceaselessly in front of me

Until my head begins to ache:

Although I am not mechanical

Like the metronome I am losing momentum.

I measure heavy words and still heavier silence

Until the door slams shut with rage

After which I begin to count slowly towards the next outburst.



Life as a Collage

They tell me nobody is perfect

Which rings true.

I can accept that nobody is perfect.

What they do not say is that some people are more talented than me;

I spend my days learning the grammar of languages that others speak perfectly,

Music plays on the radio and the singer is younger and richer than me.

What matters more than the truth that nobody is perfect

Is that success comes in different forms and at different times

You can live your life as a competition but you do not have to.

And in many ways you are truly alone and different

Because everything you experience makes one collage that is only yours.

The collage may not be beautiful

But it should have meaning.