SPOTLIGHT: hecate’s child by Linda M. Crate

a better person

you don’t know me
don’t you ever think my life
was easy,
do you know what it is like
to look yourself in the eyes and hate
yourself just for existing?
to know you were not wanted?
just a consequence
because some predator ripped
apart a part of your mother’s soul—
do you know what it’s like to
be the something beautiful that came
out of something ugly?
do you know what it’s like to look
in the mirror and not know your identity,
to be afraid that one day you’re going to
see the face of a monster looking you
back in the eye?
do you know what it’s like to be
in-between heaven and hell,
and having no way or direction in which to move?
don’t ever say my life was easy,
just because i carry the weight well
doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt;
i have so much pain and rage i don’t know
where to begin healing my trauma but i am trying
every day to be a better person than yesterday.

just wish someone could love me

i see all these other girls
with their fathers,
and i have this jealousy;

the closeness, the protection,
love i’ll never have but i’ve
starved for all my life—

they talk about everything their
father’s have given them, and all i can think is
what mine will never provide for me;

and it hurts—
i know it’s not their fault
they haven’t suffered my pain,

but i can’t help but resent them for it
sometimes because it feels like
they’re rubbing the one relationship i’ll never get

right in my face;
because i’m not close to anyone
i forgot how to trust

no one has ever understood me
i am so sick of translating my soul
just wish someone could love me.

a bird unquiet

i was sewn into
the fabric of silence
never wanting to hurt
my mother because this
was her story,
but it is also part of mine;
i cannot ignore
how much it has hurt me—
of how i’ve felt worthless and vile
just for existing,
and how people have only
reinforced that when they ghost
me in friendships or when they
bullied me;
even the man who raised me
made me feel like i could be nothing more
than a burden to my mother so i cannot
see all the goodness they tell me he has
only the pain and rage he’s given me
through the years—
i never felt like i deserved love,
but i tried so hard to be a perfect daughter;
and never was i good enough no matter
what i did so eventually i stopped trying
and i was criticized for that, too—
spent so many years with these wings
giving up on myself and my dreams of flight
because i was scared i didn’t deserve to live,
yet now i have learned to love myself and to fly
because i am not my father: i am me.

a monster with jagged teeth

close your eyes
dream a little dream
of me,
and tell me is it a
i need to know.
sometimes i wonder
if i can be anything less
than a monster,
but sometimes i feel like the
answer is already something
i know and i fear that it is not
the response i want to
do i have beauty and worth despite
my violent beginning?
i hope so, i pray so, i beg so,
but sometimes when i look in the mirror
i don’t see a woman
just a monster
with jagged teeth.

i tire of this scar

my heritage is a scar
i carry
mostly in silence
forgive me if i am tired
of hearing about
your perfect family

i am broken,
and i am trying;
to be something more than
all these pieces
scattered on the ground—

my fear is that i will
have to shed my humanity
and become a monster
to defend myself because no one
seems to see any worth in me,
and i am exhausted of defending
my existence and myself;

instead of judging and hating—
could someone please just give me
the love i have craved since
i was a child?

all i wanted was to be a good daughter,
but i don’t know if i manage that;
i am trying.


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