Prize Poetry

 Letter to Myself: Forgiveness

 by a young woman

I am not yet sure I am ready to forgive you.

You ripped me to pieces so small,

I wasn’t even sure I was there anymore.

Your words cut me deeper than

any blade ever could.

You burned my skin;

gave me 3rd degree wounds.

For over a year,

I dealt with the blame.

I dealt with the threats of suicide when I said no.

I dealt with screams, the shoves,

the “I’m-sorry, I-love-you”s.

The “It-won’t-happen-again”s, the “take-me-back”s

I dealt with the pain.

As if all the showers

could scrub away

the filthiness I’ve felt.

Almost 3 years later,

and I’m still unlearning

what I was taught to be sorry for.

But almost 3 years later

and I can tell myself that I deserve better.

I can look at my scars now,

and see that that

is no longer me.

I can be happy

with someone else.

I can look at myself now

and not feel ashamed.

This is to myself.

This is for me.

I don’t forgive you,

but I forgive me.

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