bonsai

twisted, constricted
bent every which way, but
still striving towards the light.
I’ve been sadly warped by you, mama,
and never learned how
to straighten up and grow right.

what does sunlight look like
when it’s not filtered through glass?
what does love look like
when it’s not strained through an agenda?

trained and pruned,
grafted and transplanted
all that artifice and care
just to make me look like
everyone else.

the wires mustn’t show.
don’t look at the gardener
behind the curtain.
you wouldn’t like what you see.

miniaturized. my need for growth
was used against me.
no matter how hard I tried,
I couldn’t expand beyond
the hard limits
imposed by the tiny pot.
if left alone, I would have sprawled
over ten times that surface area,
run rampant, kudzu-like,
over all your proprieties.

the pathos of things
like trees tortured to stay tiny
but look like their normal size parents.
if this is what your empathy looks like,
spare me.
I’d rather have been raised by wolves
than oppressed by your idea of civilization.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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