Denise Moyo was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United States. She attended Boston University and is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed applied behavior analyst. Denise Moyo uses poetry to speak on issues of trauma and emotional pain. Her poetry is presented in a way that is prayerful, transformative, and healing.
Denise Moyo as guest feature poet at Wake Up and Smell the Poetry
A lot of people who experience emotional pain tend to suffer alone. We can use poetry to come together and share our stories. "Solidarity is the gift that poetry gives us".
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You go through my purse looking for power,
and after you take it,
you insert me with your weakness,
tainting my body, my soul, my mind, and my spirit.
You investigate all the dark areas
that you say remind you of a calla lily,
the deepest shade of purple,
and steal the desire to live.
Does not this type of pain infect the womb
meant to carry life?
Does it not damage the heart
meant to love and nurture?
Does it not lead to self-destructive habits in the one now burdened by a void
where the desire to live used to preside?
It may not seem fair but it is the broken hearted who carry the responsibility of having their hearts mended. And it is the afflicted who must hatch their own healing and make sure to secure their minds with the truth.
Many broken-hearted people never get a second chance to restructure their journey.
Because they wait to be rescued,
by those very people, that have demonstrated the skill to break their hearts.
But even after baptism it is our responsibility
to come out of the water.
We don’t need to stay in the water in order to stay connected to our identity in Christ.
Our power is in coming out of the water.
I woke up and there was not enough time,
not enough sky, and not enough ground.
Out of options,
at least it seemed that way at the time.
The world had very little patience,
very little love,
and very little kindness to offer.
I had very little hope that I’d recover
or that anyone could recover
from such an experience,
bargaining for compassion with promises
that I knew I would not be able to keep.
At dawn, there is always all the time
one needs for the day.
And God is the only bridge
we can use to cross over
when there is not enough ground.
Desperate for a helping hand,
lost in the absence of empathy—
desperate measures are taken
just to check if the world has eyes that see,
because it goes on blind
to the suffering the child is facing.
Great heights are traveled,
destructive steps taken,
just to check if the world still has a pulse,
because it carries on unresponsive—
indifferent to the child’s pleas for help.
Displays of desperation turned inside out
become the way the inner child
verifies its liveliness,
causing further harm to the person.
“See me!” demands the child inside.
“Am I alive? Can anyone see me?
Notice the hurt, notice my pain!”
To a damaged spirit,
one’s existence and worth are only realized
when acknowledged by other people.
It’s so easy for the child inside to get lost,
searching for evidence of its own heartbeat,
for proof of life.
Often ending up stuck in avalanches of shame,
with masses pointing fingers.
In a twisted way, finally, a confirmation
that, yes, you are visible.
We see you; you are alive!
I went looking for myself,
or was I running from myself?
I don’t quite know.
But vodkas with a splash of something
gave me glimpses of the self I sought to be
and a courage I couldn’t find
or cultivate otherwise.
Only, those glimpses,
the courage, did not last long.
So often, I was left uneasy,
replaying the little bits I could remember,
with much trepidation
at what I could not remember.
Have you ever felt like you were just a mirage,
or an unstable flame, flickering in the wind?
Had you ever felt the way I felt about myself
and the world,
you would have understood
why I chose to drink my mind away,
day in and out, in order to find my true self
or at least escape the mirageness of my being.
Desperate to be rooted in something,
I moved from one addiction to another,
just to feel something,
The truth was always there,
sitting in the darkness.
You knew it was there;
I saw you laughing at my pain.
You talked about the sun,
the heat, and the lack of rains.
Not about what mattered to a little girl, afraid. Silence is not always golden,
sometimes peace is worth disturbing.
Now when you give me a smile,
I am never assured,
because I’ve gathered the truth
that when the darkness falls,
I’ll be on my own.
You’d never use your lips
to speak against my pain.
You’d avert your eyes,
pretending not to see.
When I offer you a smile,
know it’s just a gesture
and that you should take time
to read in between the lines.
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