And you begin to accept your defeats…
When there in on other corner
To kick that ball called “It’s everyone else’s fault.”
When you come to know once and for all
You cannot be everybody’s everything;
When that ball rolls back from the corner that rejected it
And stops right at your feet,
That ball that you used to bounce around like you knew how:
“Hey, look at me and all the spectacular tricks I can do!”
when you look over your shoulder and see
a lot of people doing the same exact thing
And they look the same exact way,
Balls all filled with nothing
But hot air.
Then you can begin to think about forgiveness,
That terrifying shape,
Round like a ball
But made of something so fragile, like glass or
Your own personal history.
You say, “I’m sorry,” or “I forgive you”
And suddenly you realize you have
An arm full of brightly colored balls,
Your shoes lengthen and round out at the toe,
That fancy mask falls away, revealing
Dark red rouge and coal black cream,
And you find you can keep four, five, even six balls
In the air all at once
Fool who is no longer afraid.
What I Want My Words To Do To You…
I want my words to wash your mouth out
For telling all those little me lies to Big Ego Brutes,
For shrinking from that question:
Just who do you think you are?
I want my words to stand you up facing the corner
For saying yes please and thank you and well, okay
When every synapse and sinew in your body fires
And runs riot under your skin.
I want my words to write themselves across
The slate of your subconscious one thousand times:
I will not be a victim I will not be a victim I will not be a victim
Then your name in larger letters, encircled by your imperfect heart.
I want my words to send you to your room without your supper
For all the times you starved your desire to dance, to act, to love,
Then fed that hole in your gut the poison that all those bottles later
Still hadn’t filled.
I want my words to box your ears
To box your ears until you refuse to listen
To that voice that says you can’t, you won’t and don’t you dare
I want my words to ground you for the rest of your life.
KIM KEOUGH is the Director of Voices from Inside. She joined VFI as a writing workshop facilitator at
She would like to thank Pamela and Maureen (SHINE’s Artist in Residence) on behalf of everyone at VFI for this month-long opportunity to SHINE.