top of page
a friend to all is a friend to none.
by Nichelle Taylor

I am a whisper, an undercurrent of voices carried

over blaring beats and lyrics that extinguish light.

They dwindle me down until I am just a dot

on a tattered map left blank and unexplored.

 

I thought being small would make me nimble,

an acrobat midair, unable to be clasped

in rough, grubby hands that mold me, fold me

like a pile of unread and forgotten letters.

 

Instead, making myself slight conditioned me to step lightly,

tiptoe across crumbling earth, fall through gaping holes.

I fit perfectly in a corner, pocket-sized and agreeable.

I draw the shutters closed and wish for something,

 

anything to ease shame that leaks from the pools of my eyes,

a river down my cheeks. I dream of a day I can remove my mask,

allow the words to pour freely from my unrelenting mouth,

I will no longer be ignored; I have permission to take up space.

Nichelle Taylor (she/her) is an avid writer interested in writing YA Fantasy novels, memoir, creative nonfiction, and poetry. This piece showcases the struggles of being a recovering people-pleaser, working hard to lift the curse of being "too nice" per others' standards, and improving her sense of self-worth. Her work has been featured in UNC's The Crucible, Sad Girls Club Literary Magazine, The Publishing Room, and others. To check out more of her work, please visit nichelletaylor.com.

bottom of page