Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.
Funny isn’t it, we don’t show the shadows of ourselves.
Supergloss the filter over false smiles,
and don’t let the cracks poke
through the paintwork.
Look at that food, that face, that mountain,
that pristine home and smiling children.
Picture perfect. We didn’t see
the tantrums and turmoil and tear your hair out,
streaking faces with tears and snot,
and staring bleakly into the mirror
wondering who the fuck is that staring back at you?
No. No shadows here. Peter Pan
popped along and nabbed them all;
only way to see one is to have it stitched
back onto you, in slow painful pulls of string
Look instead at the bright lighting, the
palette of wonder, the best angle,
and the shot so beautiful it hurts my insides.
Don’t forget to like and subscribe
and sign up for all the endless feelings of
shame and inadequacy and like
Fill your aching soul with doom scrolling
and 3 for 2 offers on artisan gin, whilst
snapping your avocado toast, booking the Algarve,
and blocking out the gaping chasm
you just can’t seem to fill.
All is fine here thank you very much,
just look at your Insta- isn’t that proof enough?
Click away the blemishes, wipe out
that smear in the background that looks like
your toddler’s toast smooshed into the sofa
you spent two months’ wages on.
Ignore the constant ache in your lower back,
or the sting in your chest when you try
to remember the last time you and your husband
spent any time together, actually having fun.
Still, there’s always the ski trip in January,
and you’re always more raw, with no
shadow to hold you in reality.
Originally from rural Wales, Nia has lived in East Yorkshire the past 6 years. A single mother and occasional blogger, her self-published collection Walking through the shadows was published in 2017. She has featured in The High Wolds Poetry Festival and accompanying collections, The Amphibian Literary Journal, Delicate Emissions, Noctivagant Press, Discretionary Love, and will soon feature in Boats Against the Current, Fiery Scribe, and also Sunday Morning at the River’s next anthology later this year.
@niaharries1 | @realniaharries