Photo Credit: Peter Szto, PhD

I have been dancing with shame today

But cannot decide

Which one of us is leading

I imagine the dance a tango

With both of us

Struggling for dominance

Our steps staccato

On a polished hardwood floor

The rose in shame’s mouth is red

I wear virginal white

A tribute to my lost innocence

Awfully hard to get the blood stains out of

Shame and I are intimate partners

Who have twirled around this dance floor

Together, a time or two before

Shame is nothing if not persistent, a stubborn suitor

Who does not like to take ‘no’

For an answer

Shame wants to dip me backwards

Into a fountain of self-doubt, quivering insecurity

I resist this advance

Shame whispers into my ear

Almost seductively

“Unclean. . .”

“Unworthy. . .”

“Unlovable. . .”

“Broken. . .”

Shame has whispered these words to me before

A mantra that can seep deep into my soul

If I am not constantly on my guard

I force myself to stare Shame in the eye

Will myself to be unflinching, stone

I can play this game of chicken too

The dance goes on

Categories: Poetry

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