a metaphor

In my once
upon a time, I
wore a veil
cloaked myself
from dangers
handed down,
family history.

in soft cloth,
upon layers
my spirit-

This behavior
its season.
You can’t
yourself against
Summer’s sun.

Smoked out,
the layers peeled
without guilt
and I
lay swathed
in madness.

The veil:
a metaphor
of humility,
of freedom.
But I was never free
as the day
I threw my veil
in the sun,
cast off my history
and staked claim
to a future
not planned
for me.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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