Pretending To Be Strong-a poem

Photo by 瑞士大龙/Ruishidalong

This is for my friend who’s by now mourning her brother’s death in the Philippines. This is what I think her journey would be like when she made her way to Guangzhou airport to board a plane back home with her brother’s bereavement still fresh in her mind. A—, this is for you.

You board the bus

You can make it.

But you know you didn’t

Don’t lie to yourself

You received the news

At 1:35 this morning

You refuse to believe it

Numb, the news hasn’t sunk in yet

Your brother passed away when

You finally got to talk with your youngest

You still remembered what you had said

“Don’t give up. There’s still hope out there.”

Now that hope’s gone

Disappeared into the last flickering

light of life in his eyes

Respirator taken away

You appear to be strong

It’s an act

that keeps you together

keeps you from falling apart

You get off the bus then

Your heels create a clicking sound

as you make your way to the airport

Hold on tight

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

There now,

pull yourself together

Don’t let them see you cry

Don’t let them see a middle aged old woman

alone and sobbing

Paste that smile back on


Everything’s normal

Everything’s fine

But your hands betray you

They shake

Clutch that bag tighter

Hold your head high now

Because deep inside

you know

Not everyone is strong

We just pretend to be

To know more about this story and what really happened read my previous post: Life Updates


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