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Reflections of a Bully

Reflections of a bully

I was bullied
Not by some snotty nosed kid
But by the unassuming mirror
That sat innocuously in the corner

It chided and taunted me
It reeked unabashedly
It was too perilous to my psyche
It morphed me into a circus clown
It tortured me all through middle school

No one stood behind me with rabbit ears
Or pushed up their nose snorting
that I was a pig
There was no need, those mean slurs were
reserved for the girl in the mirror

The one with juxtaposed eyes
Cold slumped shoulders with
good and evil atop
A nose too big and wide for a dames’ face
Mocking and controlling me to look
down and never up

I know how many tiles it takes from
the school bus to first hour
Never sat with anyone in
particular at lunch
Just counted down the time
High school was much worse
I grew bigger, more awkward, and withdrawn

Constant pressure to go to college
So I did, and did not pack that mirror
Walked in each class and sat
in the front row
Begin reaching out and there were hands,
for the very first time, to grasp and hold

Each term paper brought me closer
to the imagined self
Since mastering the shame of the mirror
Never possessed the urge to look
back or down
Nowadays, keep my head held high
ebulliently fulfilling my destiny

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
Please use care (this is a sensitive subject for me, do not critique harshly)
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content
Opt-in: Neopoet AI will critique your poem.


The below is a computer-generated response from Neo, Neopoet's computer artificial intelligence:

This poem effectively uses the metaphor of the mirror as a bully, which provides a unique perspective on self-perception and self-esteem. It is a compelling exploration of the protagonist's internal struggle with self-image and the journey towards self-acceptance.

However, the poem could benefit from a more consistent rhythm and meter to enhance its flow. The irregular line lengths and varying syllable counts can make the poem feel disjointed. Establishing a more consistent rhythm could help to guide the reader more smoothly through the narrative.

The poem also tends to tell rather than show. For example, "I grew bigger, more awkward, and withdrawn" tells the reader how the protagonist feels, but it might be more impactful to show this through specific examples or images.

The use of imagery is strong in some parts of the poem, such as "Cold slumped shoulders with good and evil atop" and "I know how many tiles it takes from the school bus to first hour." More use of such vivid, specific images throughout the poem could help to make the protagonist's experiences and emotions more tangible and relatable to the reader.

Lastly, the transition from high school to college feels abrupt. The poem could benefit from more development of this transition to show how the protagonist's change in environment contributed to their change in self-perception.

Please send feedback about Neo (our computer generated critique system) to

Unfortunately we do bulley ourselves. Often throughout our lives. This is an intense image that you have copied
and pasted somewhere deep within. You could add the letter "d' to torture if you want. In any event I understand your meaning. A great, emotional and thoughtful writing!

The power of our language can and will change the world.
Successively until our languages become one!

Thank you for your edit tip and I called myself re-reading it before I posted lol.
The inner critic can be a monster but over time I have learned only if you feed it.

author comment

you were smart enought to leave that mirror at home.
I suspect that you already knew that the mirror was lying,
it was just afraid that you would go away and not come back.
I felt this. Ummmm... Good feel in the feel-good ending.
Oh, the word is [worse] with an e. ~ Geez.

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