Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Giving Back (September 14, 2016)

My generation
People have labelled
As "Generation X".

Have been told 
We don't appreciate
The sacrifices
Of previous generations
Before us.

To which
I say

Having myself
Lost everything
In my life
That I value.

My immediate family
And those
Who I considered
Close friends.

I shared
My true self.

As a woman
A male body.

How total strangers
Reached out
And helped me.

I was suicidally depressed 
After these rejections.

By helping me
To rebuild
My inner foundation
In a stronger
And more flexible

Material needs
Can be replaced
With ease.

By using 
A debit
Or credit card.

A person's life 
Can't be.

This message 
Was brought home
To me
Last month.

When I saw
An elderly woman
Of South Asian heritage
Rummaging through
My apartment building's 
Garbage bin.

Seeking discarded items
To help her survive
As a huge smile
Dominated her face.

The abject poverty
Of her physical situation.

Only wish
I could have 
Help her.

Paying back
Who have helped me
The past decade.

Therisa © 2016

Author's note: There are many people, who I have lost contact with, over the years, who kindness of heart and generosity, have allowed me, to write this poem, before you. To them, I wish to say, "I sorry", and hope, you understand. From this bitter experience, I have discovered, what true friendship means, and the price that it sometimes demands, from us. To which, I willing pay, without second thoughts. 


  1. The image of the garbage and smiling woman is amazing. I, too, learn to see the small things and give back with appreciation to those who help.

  2. I am struck by the smile of the woman finding abandoned treasure in the dumpster. Sigh. There is resilience. I appreciate this acknowledgment of those who have been kind to you in your life, seems we are sent angels, when we most need them, to remind us of the good in life, that it is not all pain. And one day, I am sure, you will be such an angel to others, as you pass along what was given to you....that is the chain, we all pay it forward in our lives.

  3. Sometimes bitter experiences work as our teachers and carve a way to walk strongly on the path in solitude, that help us grow. "My true self.

    As a woman
    A male body." i think we (true-self) are neither male nor female and body is not that important, what is most valuable in life is to grow a detachment towards Desire that is burning us day in and day out. We are all burnt in our own way. I don't know whether you believe in God or not but Faith is a healing balm. Here I am not speaking of any institutionalized religion. Just to have one's own God in the heart. Wish you all my best dear friend. Your poem brought me tears. Keep writing. Stay well. And you need not publish this comment.

  4. We are all separate individuals and must live our lives as best we can and enjoy it to the utmost and put all the hurt from the past behind us as we can only go forward.

  5. We should always be grateful for what our loved ones do for us :)

  6. I'm glad your challenging experiences have had this result too, not only the pain.


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