Sadness Like A Cloak


Sadness wears me like a cloak

It is my familiar enemy

We were introduced when I arrived

On earth’s cold plane one lonely night

It has never let go of me since.

I see others happy all around

I am confused. What makes them so giddy?

I have much more than they do

And yet sadness still wears me like a cloak

I did not not choose it

I rejected it long ago

But whenever I try to move away

The stories of my life gives it new ground

A hold with which to claim me back

Sad little occurrences always set me back

Sadness uses every excuse to dump on me

To reel me back till I am taken over

By the darkness of my past experiences

Sadness know just what to do

To take me back to memories gone

The baby born on to a bare floor

Rejected by its father

Left with a lonely mother

Sadness made its first deposit that day

Family divided, standing alone,

Invisible child among the crowd

Accused, unloved, ostracised by those I call family

Sadness paid in another lump sum

No friends, no zest, no one to jive with

The odd one out

Can’t you tell by the ‘hand me downs’?

Can’t fit in and can’t say why

Sadness said I will be your friend



Thinking deep, covering my bases

Knowing vulnerability at a tender age

Licking my wounds, refusing to crumble

But sadness was always never far away

I learnt to survive not by being happy

But by letting sadness be my guide

Don’t tell me I have to show some happiness

I don’t know how, I am always looking out for sadness

Every good thing in my life

Has come tinged with sadness

I cannot oust it, it’s grown with me

Even when I am happy, I am sad

I try to shake it off but it’s worse than you know

What can I say, it’s not my cloak

I am the cloak that sadness wears

One little thing and I am all his again

Sadness knows me well, much too well

Forget happiness, its gone before it arrives

Don’t think I do not know happiness

I simply can’t hold it close

When Sadness still wears me like a cloak

I keep waiting for the light




  1. laurie27wsmith says:

    A great piece Selasie, I also read it backwards and it falls very well into place.


    1. Wow!Thanks Laurie27wsmith. I have never tried reading any of my poems backwards before. Now you’ve shown me a new way to look at what I write. Thanks.


      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I had come to the end and glanced back up a couple of lines and thought, I’ll read it backwards, never done it before. You have a great talent Selasie.


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