Deborah Burris-Kitchen 1960 (Nashville, TN)

A mirror, awash in tears
Reflects judgment and disdain
A tempest of hatred and scorn
Unbridled, raging, a torrent out of control
Rain leaves scars; who could foresee?
I realized how much you despised my stature, my size
Unveiled in the reflection of your eyes
Dark, the depths of my soul
Will its light ever shine?

Assessed, reduced to mere age’s decree
Frail and slight, memories fade with the sunset into the sea
You paint a distorted portrait of me
Your delusion framed, hung on my wall, with gaiety
Yet, beyond the canvas, I am more than the image portrayed
Determined to prove, about me, you are misled.

You scrutinize with your eyes
Yet, you never investigate mine
Averted glances, deception, lies
Yet, in my mirror, my soul's depth defies
Lines on my face, tales of years gone by
Wisdom earned, years lived
Well-traveled, well-read
Days gone by, unacknowledged, disregarded
Beyond height and weight, I transcend, unguarded.

Your words cut sharp, a piercing knife
Carving out my heart, haunting me at night
But at dawn, strength within me grows
In one glance at the mirror, self-love overflows
Embracing my authenticity with pride
Granting myself a well-deserved hug, fortified.

In every wrinkle, each grey strand of my hair
Years of acquired knowledge hidden with care
These swollen eyes are from the tears I have shed
Battles fought, with grit and might I tread
Not fragile, but resilient in this cruel world
In the face of hatred, I stand tall, undeterred
Your malice fades in the mirror’s gaze
As it reflects the real me, through life’s maze
A beautiful spirit, a piece of art, so clear.

In your eyes, the toxicity of hatred is unveiled
Conspiring to destroy me, plans meticulously detailed
Yet, I rise above, fueled by inner fire
For in my mirror’s depth, truth does transpire

A resilient soul, steadfast against the din
Refusing to let your hate-filled venom do me in.

About this poem

the struggle against self hate

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Written on January 11, 2024

Submitted by dburriskitchen on January 11, 2024

1:40 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,901
Words 335
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 10, 6, 9, 6, 9, 4, 2

Deborah Burris-Kitchen

Deborah J. Burris-Kitchen, Ph.D., is a Professor of Criminology and Department Chair at Tennessee State University in Nashville. She is the author of Female Gang Participation (Edwin Mellen Press, 1997). In addition, she co-authored an article on racism in higher education in the College Student Journal (2000). Her publications include a book titled Short Rage: an autobiographical look at Heightism in America (2002). She has a book chapter (July 2010) titled Pathways to Prison: Implications for the Health and Mental Health in the African American Community in Handbook for African American Health Psychology: Evidence-based Treatment and prevention practices (edited by Robert Hampton & Ray Crowell); From Slavery to Prisons: A Historical Delineation of the Criminalization of African Americans (2010); a journal article titled Short Rage Revisited (2018); and Deviance and Control, Kendall and Hunt (2020) and a second edition of Deviance and Control was released by Kendall and Hunt in 2021. Dr. Burris-Kitchen has served as the research committee chair and Vice President of the National Organization of Short-Statured Adults (NOSSA). She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi. She has served as President of the Association of Humanist Sociology (AHS) and was a member of AHS for many years. She has also been a member of the American Society of Criminology and the American Sociological Association. Dr. Burris –Kitchen is an activist who fights against violence, racism, exploitation, greed, and capitalism. more…

All Deborah Burris-Kitchen poems | Deborah Burris-Kitchen Books

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    "Mirror" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/178459/mirror>.

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