a poem by Maab Hafiz
art by Fiza Mohsin
I can’t even bring myself to write what I feel
because writing it will engrave it, making it real.
Crying myself in somber, urging myself to heal;
my thoughts and my own voice, I conceal.
And daily, with nerves and stained cheeks,
I fiddle my strained thoughts and fear
that ‘Are you sure?’ are the only words I’d hear.
Words not of wisdom but a vile clink in my ear.
(I try to pick up the crumpled tissue and myself)
I question my ability and go insane,
with the belief that all my efforts are in vain.
I repeat it unseldom and once again—
imagine not being good enough at the only thing you’re good at.
Doing your best just for a back pat.
Pushing yourself just to stand,
just to realise that
you can’t get up from where you sat.
Where you sat wasn’t just at a corner, closed,
but a hole that sucked you in deeper and deeper as you bawled.
So, you stopped bawling your eyes out and balled up your fists
and realised you have many talents and gifts.
And remember, you’re not alone.
There is always hope, ways to feel, ways to cope.
You have great wit, a bright mind, and a heart of stone
because you’re stronger than the Imposter Syndrome.