Tanya Markul’s short poem Eleven is a reminder that we are not alone in our struggles. As it goes:
The pain that made you
the odd one out
is the story
that connects you
to a healing world.
The title of the poem is a nod to the “oddness” that the poet felt growing up in a low-income family battling poverty and addiction. In Markul’s words: “there’s so much repressed wounded-ness in the world, that one person’s bravery to tell their story can become another person’s opportunity to compete, compare, judge, vent and harshly criticize.”
With this poem, she wants everyone to know that trauma and struggle is not a competition to see who has it worse. Instead, we are all healing from our personal battles in our own way, and in pain we are united and don’t have to suffer alone.
Feature Image: Joe HF, on Sketchport, Creative Commons