A Poem: Less

If I took off my hat, would I be ‘Lisa, less a hat?’
If I took off my coat, my shoes perhaps, even my dress,
would I be ‘Lisa, less the worth of all I wear?’

And if I take down my hair, and wash my face,
and clean all the colour from my eyes and lips,
is there anything left that might incline your head?

If I lose my smile, and closed my eyes in deadened weariness.
If I had nothing to give you but the honest place I am right now,
would you still see something worthy of acceptance?

For underneath all the appendages of living, I am naked but for my skin.
All that I clothe myself with, achievements and successes, identity that I’ve allowed others to bestow, are worth less than the time it takes to fall from grace.

And yet there is something about standing alone and naked.
Nothing to prove and everything instead to gain,
for we expend so much of ourselves to keep appearances in place.

I would rather we connect with real and open hearts instead,
than measure each other on the value of our performances.
So my friends, here’s for losing our hats – mine was never worth that much anyway.

Ana Lisa de Jong
September 2017

Image:  Pinterest

‘He who minds neither praise nor blame possesses great peace of heart…’
Thomas A Kempis

“Excellence does not require perfection”
Henry James

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