Painfully Shed of Her Skin

With little left in the end

Colleen Millsteed
2 min readNov 26, 2023

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A faceless woman.
Image courtesy of Pixabay

I’ve answered to many labels within my lifetime,
But sadly nothing lasts forever,
Devastating crippling loss as they slowly fall by the wayside,
As I traverse this life in my stalwart endeavour.

It all started with the label ‘baby girl’,
But then I grew up to become a teen,
Which soon revolved into adult,
The memorial day I turned eighteen.

I was once labelled someone’s daughter,
And it could be argued that I’m still to this day,
But I disagree as daughters are precious beings,
Not treated cruelly in any way.

I attempted to live up to the title of wife,
Not just once, but twice,
But I was disgracefully discarded,
And the loss of that identity was far from nice.

My favourite label, my most honoured title,
Was that of a full time mother,
This one I wore proudly, a mantle of sheer happiness,
One I’d happily live with for the rest of my days, not wanting any other.

But again the birds fly the nest,
And I do still hear the title Mum,
A title that never fails to cause my heart to swell with love,
Knowing I’ve still that one special someone.

But with the empty nest came a grappling pain,
Who am I now I’m no longer a wife, a loved daughter, a child, a young girl?
I guess I’m still an employee — for a few more years anyway,
And I’m starting to hear the label ‘senior’ as my years begin to unfurl.

Although a couple of labels still stick,
I can’t help but wonder if I’ve lost my purpose, my identity,
As I spend my days alone, unneeded, forgotten,
Not the once imagined peaceful serenity.

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Colleen Millsteed

Top Writer in Poetry. I’m a Finance Manager with a love of both numbers and words.