"Shadow" © Life Pilgrim, 2009. CC BY-NC 2.0.
Shadow” © Life Pilgrim, 2009. CC BY-NC 2.0.
We learned how to treat ourselves by watching
the way other people treat us.

They learned it the same way.

How to tie our shoes, kiss, drive, and
throw back a shot of cheap whiskey
taught the same as
our own worth and how to tend to wounds.

Unconscious mimicry.

A family recipe
passed down for generations
and shared between good friends.

The things we tell ourselves in the mirror
when we can’t sleep at two in the morning.
Tongues tripping
over their own accidental routine.

No one told us what we were learning.

A twist in your gut at the mention
of someone you’ve never met
in a place you’ve never been.

You’re sure this can’t be good for you.

Vacillate between being
at the things you taught me
about who I am

and being heartbroken
someone taught
those things to you.

We’re all broken
in the same places.
Know the points
most inclined to continue aching.

But where
would we have learned
to do it different?

4 thoughts on “Mimic


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