influence me not

I swallowed the self-help pills, following the liturgy

of influencers religiously, forcing myself into the mould I’d been told to fashion if I wanted

‘results’. So, I gorged myself on their promises

of notoriety, financial success, and increased influence. I feasted

on self-congratulation as I clicked the Pay Now button filled with empty promises.

The pit in my stomach yawned

as I filled it with words from a body-less voice on a page of 1’s and 0’s.

But when all was said and done, and my pocket a dry riverbed, the promised land

of milk and honey was nowhere to be seen. Still, I waited,

watching the sun set on another

broke day, counting the bread slices to see how many breakfasts

I had left, the questions swirling around me, an agitated river.

What did I do wrong? They reply that ‘I must have missed something, so

‘trust the process, go back and try again,

follow the steps, march on.’

Yet another sunset

turned into a new day as my stomach twisted

in hunger.

I must have missed something because ‘the program isn’t guaranteed

to produce results unless you follow it as prescribed’.

Round two produced empty bread bags, sold off treasures

and tumbleweed accounts, my stomach

filled only

with regret, confusion, shame and

disillusionment.

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