the villain

By: Naomi A. Evans

To have my past reinvented; rewritten,

With me as the storied villain.

Cherished memories; times of connection and closeness

Re-defined as something

Other,

Intentions and actions cruelly twisted;

Charred beyond recognition.

Not me,

Not me.

To be cast out,

Tossed into the churning waves,

Untethered; Alone.

Darkness swirls, shifting storms roll,

Not me,

Not me.

A maelstrom of accusations pepper me;

Even as I cry innocence, the gag of eloquence

Encircles me;

My words fall out; down,

Into the abyss; irretrievable.

Not me,

Not me.

Those tied to me by blood

Claw at the bindings,

Rip away the pieces of the puzzle.

Their ragged nails tear

My fragile fabric.

Not me,

Not me.

I am crushed beneath the weight of expectation;

My hands reach out to offer reconciliation,

But are cut off;

My lifeblood seeps away.

Not me,

Not me.


Naomi A. Evans is a storyteller through poetry and prose. Originally from London, UK, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their two tiny humans and two beloved cats. She is proud of her mixed heritage: Barbadian and Guyanese on her dad's side, and Welsh and English on her mum's side. She has a Bachelor's Degree in History from Cardiff University, Wales, UK, and a Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She enjoys tea, traveling, sunsets, pretty stationary, sparkly things, to-do lists, and the beach.

Reflective Engagement

This poem navigates the deep waters of being misrepresented and vilified, turning introspective to examine the pain and isolation of being perceived as something one is not, inviting us to delve into the complexities of identity and perception:

  1. How do misinterpretations of your actions and intentions by others shape your self-perception? Reflect on instances where you felt misunderstood and consider the impact on your sense of self and your reactions.
  2. What role does the desire for reconciliation play in your life when faced with conflict or misunderstanding? Think about moments of conflict and your efforts to mend bridges, and what these efforts reveal about your values and the nature of forgiveness.
  3. How do you navigate the balance between maintaining your truth and being open to the perspectives of others, especially when accused unjustly? Contemplate the struggle between defending your integrity and being open to dialogue, and the ways in which this balance influences your relationships and sense of self.
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