I believe in never speaking the words,
‘Should have’ and ‘would have’, enemies
Of the Self.
Though many were the times
I should have, would have known
Life treated me well. Bad moments
Acknowledged as necessary paths,
To becoming who I am.
Now I am asked to ponder and find
One thing I would do
I know exactly what it is and I’m ashamed
To confess: Say ‘No’ all the times I said ‘Yes’,
A chronic violence to myself,
To please others under emotional blackmails,
Fake rules of good behaviour and respect.
I should have, would have liked
To love myself more and find
The bloody courage to say ‘No’,
All the times I said ‘Yes’.
[Featured painting: Saying No to the Canaries by Victoria Horkan]