All the times I said yes

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
Better,

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
Otherwise.

I know exactly what it is and I’m ashamed
To confess: Say ‘No’ all the times I said ‘Yes’,
Unwillingly.

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]

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