Poem

Snake Bite

To call him a snake would not be fair
because he’s nowhere near being cunning or particularly bright
but he is poisonous,
poisoning with venom that works slowly through the blood stream
draining the body of vibrancy and energy, until life falls away
sharing in his sickness –
what a sick man-child he was with an essence of the devil.

How he even got close enough to bite was a mystery,
symptoms were there from the start but probably unwisely ignored
until he’d sunk his fangs in deep
viciously clamped on, way past a time scale safe or sensible
but he knew how to hang on and abuse
flickering out his tongue when required.

He wasn’t even saucy,
not like sauce covering pizzas at the hut slithered into for work,
he left a dry feeling on the lips and sour taste at the back of the throat,
a disgusting specimen that should have been avoided at all costs,
never let anywhere close.

Shaniqua Benjamin

Not A Good Person

I’ve come to love myself, but continue to hate several aspects of me,
I am glaringly aware of the flaws gnawing away inside, destroying heart and mind,
I know I’m not a good person, though so many would say I am –
I’m an inner narcissist and I hate that;
I’m selfish at times and I hate that;
I don’t give enough time to certain individuals in my life and I hate that;
I still crave a level of approval and validation from others at times and I hate that;
I continuously compare myself to others and I hate that;
I want what others have and I hate that;
I sometimes envy what others have and I hate that;
I never feel like I’m good enough and I hate that;
I never feel like I’ll be enough and I hate that;
I still don’t believe in myself and I hate that;
I’m not grateful enough for life, when so many beauties would love to be alive. I really hate that.

Shaniqua Benjamin

Learning to Ride a Bike

In womanhood she saw how she loved being in control
although it should have been clearly in her sightline from girlhood –
Barbies could be dressed and named, have their hair cut by her small hands
Teddy bears arranged neatly on her bed
But riding a bike; that was unpredictable
factors outside of her control.
She loved being at one with the four-wheeler
riding up and down her road when sun would shine down,
then when dad removed the first of those training wheels
fear took over her body and brain.
Wheels off
off balance,
she tilted to one side, immediately aware that crashing to ground was a high probability;
she didn’t want to graze her knee or bang her head
even with a helmet on.
Pain would come on her own terms, not her bike’s, so she put the bike away,
just like the scooter and Barbie roller-skates that could also send her falling.
Being in control of her body was always more important than having fun like a child should,
able to free themselves in their inhibitions so they can learn to ride a bike or skate with friends.

Shaniqua Benjamin