This poem is significant to me because I believe that the first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge it and create awareness about the depth of its negative impact on its victims, and it is also a fitting way to take power back from the people or circumstances causing the problem. In my case, while life has always thrown its challenges at me, my primary caregiver holds me to these absurdly high standards. To them, achieving anything less is a moral failure, so I'm treated at my own home accordingly. My present domestic environment is suffocating. Writing this poem was my desperate attempt to temporarily loosen its clutches on me while trying to convince myself that I deserve better.
There once was a little child
Who was walking on a string–
High heels clamped to their feet,
With ends sharp and pencil-like,
Stabbing the walking rope into a bend.
Arms straight up in the air,
Their eyes flickered between down and ahead.
Determined to stride the rope
Like it was a cakewalk instead.
Nobody could see, nobody could know;
They had to keep walking and walking.
Little did they know
That everybody could see,
But all of them had, by preference chosen
To perceive that string as flat land.
So they walked, walked, and kept walking,
Intent to find the illusive balance
Between self and so-called perfection.
Then, in a moment, it happened all at once.
Right as they had begun to see
The delusion of a finish point close nearly,
One step, one slip, and that's all it took
For the cruel balance to be broken.
Leaving them burning
On the rusty, rocky ground.
The kid looked up, panic clear in their eyes,
Only to find themselves in a pit;
Mountains, mountains all around.
Lifting their body, bloodied and bruised,
They groaned and climbed up the steep slopes,
Until… they spotted a hand.
An open palm, outstretched and inviting,
That the kid grabbed onto it quicker
Than a trap snaps on a fly.
Do you know what would happen
If that very hand
Would pull, then push the young one back inside?
It would be a great fall, a cry for dear life,
They would hit rock-bottom
With both ribs broken and a heart.
"Why did you betray me?"
They would shout out upwards.
"Not me," the hand owner would tell
And watch the child shrink as they'd further yell,
"Why did you lie to me?
You said you couldn't keep walking on a string,
But all I see is flatland."