I can feel the cold stare of a thousand soulless eyes,
Ablaze with scorn and judgment left overt and undisguised,
Assumptions made on looks alone; image is everything,
Perfection unattainable yet still deemed worshipping.
I can feel the pressures bearing down upon my back,
Crushing expectations induce shame at what I lack,
External and internal weights contribute to the load,
With buckled knees and weary feet I stumble down life’s road.
I can feel the whispers of a thousand hateful words,
Ghostly chatter swooping round my head like vicious birds,
Cold as cutting ice they fly and peck me from behind,
Knifing at my self-esteem and poisoning my mind.
I myself am guilty of these words and weights and stares,
Causing harm and hurt that not a single care repairs,
We live life by comparisons and feel urged to compete,
And fight a constant battle that ends only in defeat.
Emma H, age 26, 27/01/2017