They Call Her Kate

She stumbled in
to the darkened front room
tears silently streaming down her face.
Not so different from being

in a hot, crowded room
full of smoke,
and sweaty bodies,
the overpowering smell of alcohol,
and the one person
she thought mattered in her life.

In high school, she used dancing, cheering,
a boyfriend, a best friend,
and a golf course community castle
to mask the pain of a life broken by
disappointed love
and a pseudo-mother only concerned with
maintaining perfection in her own life.

She left to find herself.
The self smothered
under layers
of striving
to meet

She found him.

The apparent gift
of love and acceptance
opened up to find
the same world of not being enough.
Blonde enough, thin enough, happy enough.
Devoured by the conformity
she was running to escape
once again left broken and empty.