Snakeskin and the Shadow Man – A Poem

Looking into the mirror,

I wonder how the glass

can warp itself into new and unusual

shapes? Or is it my body,

left to fend for itself

in front of my eyes that judge,

reflected back at me? I no longer know.

Looking at myself,

tracing my finger along the curves

of my skin that holds me

in an eternal embrace,

I try to pinpoint the moment

where I began to hate myself.

In talks with my therapist,

I’ve been trying to find out

when that moment was,

who took my joy from me

and left me with this loathing?

At night, I like to imagine a shadow

creeping into my bedroom,

slithering like oil along my skin

and taking everything, I love about myself

until I am left with the dregs

that deserve my hate.

When I wake and I look in the mirror,

I can see only the things I dislike

about myself. As I am choosing

what I dislike the most that day,

a flash goes off in my eyes.

In the brilliance of that light,

I’m able to travel back in time

to the moment where I didn’t care,

where what I looked like didn’t matter,

what did matter was being myself,

holding onto the sense of who I was

and just existing. I blink my eyes,

seeing the child that I was, his smile

still showing along my own mouth that

frowns at me as my eyes find me lacking.

I reach into my skin, digging my fingers

underneath the first layer, pulling it away slowly

so that this veneer of what

I think I’m supposed to look like

can be shed like a snakeskin.

When its done, I look at this pile of skin,

wondering what it means.

I do not look like anyone else, I’m perfect

in my way. Every line or perceived imperfection

upon that layer of skin tells a tale,

a story that unfolds itself

along my body. I hold the layer of snakeskin

out to the wind in hopes that it

will take it away from me.

I look at the new later that is growing

on my face, fresh and pink and I make

a promise to myself; I will love myself

as I am and stop wishing for something different.

I know that this will take time,

but I can feel the seed of light

growing within me. Looking into the mirror,

I can see the light in my eyes and I take

another look to see what

the light can see.

One Comment on “Snakeskin and the Shadow Man – A Poem

  1. Oh how this must resonate with so many people! As children we don’t care what we look like and I find the older I get the less I care what others think and the more accepting I am of both sides of me light and shadow side. Now I accept my perfect imperfections and I am happy in my skin! Great poem ❤❌❤

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