My veneer is not so thin

That it cannot withstand

Slights, insults, rebuffs

All of which do not deny me.

But my facade needs work.

It is not emotion-proof

Though braced for buffeting.

It is the becalmed time that jolts

When the patina is not seen

That the structure shakes.

My skin and body and spirit

Are my changing whole

Insufferably inseparable

Yet always an insufficient self.

Carter B. Horsley

Next Poem: Ruins

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