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By Manavi Chandra

How this poem uplifted me: After being the recipient of numerous rumors
over the years, writing this poem allowed me to process the things that have
gone on and the things that I’ve seen.

How this poem uplifts others: To others who have had rumors spread about
themselves, I hope this poem makes you feel a new sense of agency. After
all, people talking about you means there is something about you they wish
they had.

A jester and a bard

By Manavi Chandra

A word here, a phrase there -
stories transform the air.
They stand on the front lines
waiting to tear. 

Are they senders,
Or are they jesters? 
Prancing around the town,
To be heard, to be seen. 
To feel validation,
By being mean. 

Who are they trying to please 
Acting like the King and Queen? 
The jesters smear,
Until there’s dirt on my name. 
They try to freeze,
All the progress I made. 

Their fools listen blindly, 
spreading word through the lands. 
they throw jaded eyes at me,
after once holding my hand. 

Too afraid to stand up, I see, 
So rather, they kneel down. 
Bow to the jesters,
And the rest of the town. 

Where are the King and Queen
when we need them? 
They see what’s going on,
And still blame me. 

I say tomfoolery! 
Only concerned with their treasures and gems, 
Reputations out on the mend! 

If there’s a queen, then it’s me.
I’ll rule the land. 
And teach the basics of respect –
To these no-good degenerates!