It is the creeping coldness

that penetrates the chest,

a feeling of futility in all things.

It is the recognition that one is eternally an outsider,

the loneliness that tastes of shame.

It is the aspiration one dares not desire

because the Genie of Failure

has already bestowed his gift.


You suck it up,

these small despairs;

you cannot permit them overwhelm you

– though the desire to give in is fierce –

you keep them all inside (no matter how cold)

and show the world a face





Donna Meyer teaches third grade in Morgan County, West Virginia. She has been writing poetry diligently for the past few years. Donna currently leads the monthly Poetry Night at The New Earth Granary in Berkeley Springs.