Shame

Christine Ray – A dance partner, never unready

Brave & Reckless

I have been dancing
with shame today
it is not clear
which of us
is leading
the dance
a tango
both of us
struggling
for dominance
steps staccato
on a polished
hardwood
rose in shame’s mouth
red
of course
I wear
virginal white
in tribute to innocence lost
so hard to remove the
blood stains
shame and I
intimate partners
have twirled ’round
this dance floor
together
a time or two
before
shame is nothing
if not persistent
a stubborn suitor
who does not
easily accept ‘no’
as an answer
shame wants to dip me
backward
into the fountain of self-doubt
quivering insecurity
I resist this advance
shame whispers into my ear
almost seductively
unclean. . .
unworthy. . .
unlovable. . .
broken. . .

black pearls
carefully knotted
on razor wire
I maintain eye contact
will myself unflinching
stone
I can play
this game
of chicken too
as…

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