You didn’t know you were always good enough



You didn’t know you were always good enough


Sweet little girl who lives inside

Please let her out to be just that

Not denied to the world

In a prison for others’ expectations

She is as beautiful as a child

And the child still hides in her, lost and left behind


In the tallest tower, in the highest room

Playing dress up in the adults’ clothes

Parading to an audience of toys

With glass for eyes and stuffing minds

Acting out a show for their approval

For their silent applause


While in the world’s theatre the stalls are full

They bay for what they paid to see

Elaborately decorated for her presentation

Extravagant enough to be seen by those at the back

But not to highlight her inner beauty

Concealed from all for the roles she feels compelled to play


An exaggerated mannerism, an overt pose

A dance for their pleasure that beckons their attention

The fine wardrobe of daring designs and colours

With much more than a furtive flash of her flesh

Essential so all in the gallery may cheer

She follows the authors’ script for the salivating masses


Flowers thrown from the stalls land at her feet, encore!

And their adoration spurs her on to more

To be everything they’ve always expected her to be

Or is it everything she thinks they will love and want to see?

To this adult character she feels she must become

From a little girl still in a tower who’s childhood was stolen


That innocence and trust is betrayed by the artist

Who’s designs have devoured her truth

Painting a woman where a girl once played

But now for who does the artist paint?

Conditioned to repeat the desires of the thief

And to close the tower from prying eyes


The protection of her natural state

That shows the world her age

And allows the girl to shine so brightly

To deter the shallow wolves

It is all lost to her when she hides herself

In the costume of their prey


But I see her when I work backstage

In the dressing room when the show is over

The inner light in her eyes and in her smile

The magical secret the crowd do not perceive

As they focus on the distractions

That were proffered for their enjoyment


I saw when she left the stage door

Unrecognised by those waiting to meet the star

And I took her to a quiet place

Where people do not need her to perform

Though a part of her still feels she should

She can feel safe to be just her


So I asked that the girl in the tower be set free

Not hidden but allowed to grow

And have those years she missed

For her to know how beautiful she already was

That she needed nothing more to be loved

And proud of her I was when she did


Oh but fame is a strong addiction

It looks a lot like love

The lure is strong and pulls her back to the show

To be again what she was made to think she had to be

And give her all for a superficial audience

Hoping maybe this time fame will last


To be loved for what is on the outside leaves us hollow

Then it fades and we are ultimately alone

But when the secret light can be seen from within

In a word or a look or a gesture or a deed

No amount of artistry could add

To a beauty that shines


©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2010)




2 responses

  1. Ji

    what amazing poem!

    March 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  2. Ji

    an award for you in my blog,
    check it out via the link provided!
    Happy Monday!

    March 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm

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