Manners

Manners.

The underpinning foundations

of my character.

Each brick laid,

cemented by behaviour

and a continual rhetoric

of pleases and thank you’s;

letters and notes

dictated by elders,

concerned and ruled

by the opinions of others.

Irony, the cladding

of superficial politeness.

Made to worry

about what others thought;

anxiety taught

from such a young age.

Language is never innocent.

Words braided

into the hair of young girls.

‘Be good!’

Little Red Riding Hood

eaten by the Big, Bad Wolf.

It’s wrong

to love yourself

too much.

Be confident,

but not too confident

lest others think

you know more

and judge you.

Toe the proverbial line

always.

Your reflection,

an illusion;

a hall of mirrors

obscuring yours

and everyone else’s truth,

making you short-sighted.

You overlook yourself,

blinded,

yet continually reminded,

that being good enough

is something to aspire to.

Being, always

just out of reach,

that idyllic beach

photo-shopped only,

in the pages

of glossy misinformation.

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