love isn’t supposed to rip you apart
maybe i’m a blessing
instead of a curse
that i’ve led to believe

all my life
i was made to feel
a burden, an outsider
in my own family
sewing my secret pains
and shames inside of me;

i wasn’t allowed to talk
about my pain

because the man
who adopted me didn’t
really want me as
his daughter and he was cruel
as any villain in any novel
yet people praise him as good—

perhaps he was good to them,
but he wasn’t often kind to me;

he used his anger as a weapon
against me, he used his pain and his
past as weapons against me too;

instead of trying to understand
my pain and my anger, he used his own
in retaliation as if this were some game
he had to win—

now he tries to be kind,
but the damage has already been done;

i don’t trust him when he
says he loves me
because love isn’t supposed
to rip you apart
until silence is your only friend.



Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of seven poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: the samurai (Yellow Arrow Publishing, October 2020). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). Recently she has published three full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020), The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020), and Mythology of My Bones (Cyberwit, August 2020).