Harsh the voice that speaks to me
when eyes are closed in secret thoughts.
Harsh the voice and harsh the truth
that’s stolen dreams and heart and youth.
So true it speaks that I may hear
though I may try to close my ears..
Though past mistakes are gone away
they’ve marked me down and left their trace
and shaped my into what you see,
and though I fail all the while,
I daily try to to reconcile
those expectations forged before;
in distant schoolyard days of yore.
I cannot take the past away
and change the thing I am today,
and though I tell myself I’m well
repeat the chant “I am OK,”
within my soul I know I’m torn,
and I can never be reborn
into this life to start anew,
to stand steadfast and carry through
every happy childlike plan,
instead of being an ‘also ran,’
and though I smile and laugh with you,
it’s just a trick to see me through.
©Jane Paterson Basil