And she was I and I was she,
Yet neither one of us was me.
One the puppet; glitz and shine,
A shelf of trophies (they aren't mine).

Glassy eyed, we've stumbled on,
Decades wasted; time just gone.
'til overwhelmed we fell apart,
Directionless, we hit restart.

We hit restart again, again,
A whole new puppet; a brand new game.
The game would last six months, a year,
'til we'd feel how we felt before.

It's not me, not me, not me, not me,
This isn't who I'm supposed to be.
STOP, don't think about who we are,
Grab some pills or jump in the car.

Go fast, go wild, too quick to think,
We're invincible, or so we think.
Too young to worry, too young to die,
No. I was wrong. That was a lie.

But we grab the sex, the drink, the thrills,
Run, run, run, avoid those feels.
Push away, say "I don't care",
Push away, scream "it's not fair!"

It's all mess; drifting apart,
I need love, patience and open hearts.
Craving attention, I say "Go AWAY!"
You might reject me, it's safer this way.

And I'm in the void, where I keep my selves,
Some strewn all about, others neat on shelves.
In front of the rails, all glitter and lights,
Is JUST what I need to make it ALL RIGHT.

We boldly stride forth, I and she,
Though we aren't sure who we're meant to be.
Curtains open. In a spotlight. Onstage,
Blinded by footlights. I'm filled with RAGE.

How many times will I tread these boards?
Desperately seeking aplomb and applause?
When I don't know (or care) about the plot,
Or the script or directions, or who says what.

Puppeteer is exhausted, she wants to give up,
Child is frustrated, it's time to grow up.
Wearing thinner each year, we'll fade and we'll die,
Leave our audience wondering… "if only we'd tried?"

The truth is you couldn't have changed a thing,
It's a cliché, but change comes from within.
So I tear off my costume; tear it to threads,
Run from the stage, gasping for breath.

In quiet desperation, I, me and she,
We sit and we think about how to be me.
Slowly in silence we find the space,
For a fleeting moment, we pause our race.

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Image and Poem Copyright Katy Matilda Neo 4th June 2016.

For more art and writing from Katy Matilda Neo see

Published by Katy Matilda Neo