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a poem

By Lucy Dan (she/her/她)Published 2 years ago 2 min read
Photo by Riho Kitagawa on Unsplash

When pottery breaks,

it can be fixed;

some even say

the final product’s beauty

far outweighs the original.


Held together,

with gold highlighting these pottery scars.


Something from nothing,

was a story that followed me

like the blanket that followed the boy,

fixed and mended,

growing from a blanket, to a hat, to a button,

growing together.


I value this mindset.


And so all my life

I tried to fix people,

like I did with objects.


I expected that a dash of creativity,

the right words strung together —

might change someone.


Might protect me for real,

if I did it right



it took me decades,

it took me 99% of this life,

to learn that unlike objects

you cannot fix people.


You can create the space and environment

in which it’s easier

to make change,

to develop new habits.


But you cannot fix


unless they are

a willing participant.


I cannot fix

my abusive mother

no matter how much

my father


that it is my duty

to stop her violence.


I can only fix myself

to put together the shards

that have shattered

as she repeatedly smashed

my dream to smithereens.


My dream to be safe.


I can only offer up

the space and environment

the boundaries, expectations

to guide her behaviours,

but only if I feel safe.


I am a fixer.


I am a good fixer.

And I fix and upcycle objects;

I mend myself.

That is the line.


This poem was inspired by a few things.

First, the concept of Kintsugi, where golden resin is used to mend pottery. First and a half, the concept of upcycling old materials destined for the trash into functional, beautiful day to day items. I value

Second, I am inspired by poet Jay Avery for his poem Kintsugi.

Finally, to IU’s song “Bbibbi”, a song about boundaries. The concept of boundaries has changed my life in terms of managing previously ongoing abuse. Thank you to IU, who has grown with me across the decades.

Tweet me your thoughts here!


This piece was first posted here. Since then, not much has differed. I still hold to these values. Perhaps the metaphor is more engrained in me, more natural to say. When I first wrote this, it felt very raw, very new, like a foreign language. Now, I am fluent. And that's growth.

performance poetry

About the Creator

Lucy Dan (she/her/她)

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