A poem about learning to love myself

My garage door is old, and ugly, dented, and scratched,

marred beyond repair

Most people probably would just replace it with a shiny, perfect new one,

But I choose to do something else,

I’m going to paint it and see what happens.

 

My poor old garage door, so dented and scratched, so scarred

As I paint it, I realise it’s a perfect metaphor for me

Showing its age, significantly damaged by another,

And behind that door lies an enormous mess

Not of my making, left for me to clean.

 

As I lay down the coats of paint

Her beauty returns, slowly with each stroke

I can see what she could be

But I can still see what she has been,

Deeply dented and scarred through no fault of her own.

 

One coat, and I have to ask myself

Is this a joke, this door is old, this door is damaged and ugly

No amount of make up is going to hide all those dents – get a new one, fool –

And all that age – everyone will still see,

And that mess is still behind that door.

 

But I persevere, I lovingly stroke on the second coat,

Slowly and evenly, applying new color

and bringing out new life in that old door,

and I swear, it’s smiling at me, and it’s saying

thank you, it took you long enough.

 

And stepping back to inspect my work,

I realise that impossible mess that lies just behind this door

The one that I did not make, there are things of interest in there

And it is mine to own, mine to clean,

And it’s not as impossible as I thought.

 

She’s beautiful yet, I find, admiring her top to bottom, side to side,

I see her potential shine through again,

I realise that there is even beauty, in those dents and scars,

Indeed, to me, those unrepaired freshly painted scars are the most interesting thing about her,

They are what I appreciate most, what make her beauty unique.

 

She is old, she hides dark and shameful secrets,

But she is still fully functional, she still does all I need her to do,

She is still capable of beauty, of sharing a smile, a little fragment of joy,

Look what I can still do, she says to the world,

And most of the world smiles back, and doesn’t even see the dents and scars.

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