Resilient. Tough. Strong.
Euphemisms for life having gone on.
Because every morning I paint on a smile
And tell myself I will be okay after a while.
Because the people who supported me
Want to hear how great I’m doing.
Because gracious doesn’t mingle with hurting,
And resilience can’t feel anger burning.
I have to stick to the script and say
That “It was all just stuff anyway.”
I need to show people a brave face,
Because honesty doesn’t have a place.
Tragedy is forgotten as the ash blows away,
And sympathy from people continues to fade.
But I am not the poster child for loss,
Because I did not feel resilient when I had to skip practice,
I did not feel tough when I bawled the first day back at school,
And I did not feel strong when I screamed at the TV ad profiting from my pain.
So please do not tell me how I should feel,
Because I already know that this is real.
The anger and sadness and emptiness
All together are completely crushing.
But I still smile and nod when I’m expected to
And pretend that I am resilient too.