Prompt: Write an auto poem.
It starts with the little jabs
I take at myself—always noticing
in photos how the left ear juts out
and is not folded back like right ear,
or how my too-long second toes flirt
with the edge of sandals and flip flops,
I deflect compliments about my smile
by volunteering stories about those painful
years of middle school braces and the money
spent on tooth-colored fillings and crowns.
I do not recognize the strength
and beauty others claim is within me,
have not mastered the art of accepting
kind words with a simple thank you. I want
to heal—surround myself with affirmation,
but only see what I could do better,
what I’m not doing now, the thousand
and one ways I am still not enough.
~Pamela L. Taylor © 2013