"Worthless."

Dsc02480by Michelle Seyner01 Sep 2020

I was called "worthless"
before I fully understood
the scope of that damnation.
But I heard the venom
in its syllables,
and it barbwired itself
into my memory
by the way my mother
spat it at me:
with blazing eyes,
a voice spilling over
with disgust and contempt.

I was called worthless.
Unworthy of the
air in my lungs,
the light in my eyes.
Undeserving of things
like food, drink, rest,
medical care.
A waste of space -
my existence not only
not contributing,
but detracting
from those deemed worthy.

Not only was I worthless,
I was the anti-Midas:
everything I touched,
everything I loved,
everything I did,
everything I wanted
was turned just as
worthless as myself.
Worthlessness can never
be upgraded -
by definition, it can
only be disposed of.

In every language
I know, I hate the
word "worthless" the most.
It taints everything
with its dehumanizing
touch, it burrows in the brain,
kills the spirit, drains any
notions of joy, of hope, of
being loved - it murders
long before the Grim Reaper
ends the party - it only leaves
a hopeless husk.

26 August 2020.
Michelle Seyner.