Behind my Back

Behind my back
They laugh and taunt and tease,
They whisper cruelties,
Point fingers, and lay blame.
 
They smile
When they see me coming
But I know their grins turn to sneers
When I walk away.
 
I smile,
Portraying an outward appearance of confidence,
A rock-hard,
Impenetrable wall of indifference.
 
I’ve done nothing
To deserve their mocking glances,
Said nothing
To warrant their blatant disregard.
 
Alone, tears well, eyes ache,
And I chastise myself for my stupidity,
For believing their words were the truth
And accepting their judgement of me.
 
Sticks and stones,
Simple lies told to keep tears at bay.
Bones heal,
But the psyche holds on to words forever.
 
I smile at myself in the mirror
And whisper I love you.
My words and genuine reflection
Lift me up and quiet the hurt child within.
 
With shoulders back
And chin lifted I face the world,
Unafraid, indifferent, healed,
I am strong, resilient.
 
Sincere smiles greet and welcome,
Words of love and acceptance fill my ears
And no one whispers
Behind my back.
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