Poem Of The Week | Imposter Syndrome By Emily Cullen

Imposter Syndrome

By Emily Cullen

She thinks it’s stowed


in a hat box somewhere
at the bottom of her wardrobe;
or shoved in with dusty pairs
of shoes beneath the bed;
she thought she caught it glinting
from a container in the shed
where the decorations live.

She used to be able access it
any time. Now she needs to forage,
fuddle round, sort through stuff,
move things about
before she can uncover what
she could once easily summon.



‘Believe in yourself,’ they tell her,
‘you’ve got it in spades.’

Occasionally, passing
a mirror, she glimpses
a promise of inner poise,
potential for greatness
she could harness.
But more often than not
it fluctuates, elusive.

It might be inside that old
jewellery casket in the attic,
among her tangled chains
and broken strands of gems
awaiting repair.


She’ll go up now for a rummage.


Submissions are open for all HeadStuff poetry categories, including Poem of The Week (Every Friday), Unbound (longer sequence of poems from a single poet), and New Voices (submissions from poets under the age of 30.) We accept both written, audio and video recorded poems as long as the quality of the audio and video is of a high standard.

Please see our Submissions page for more information.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

You might also like More from author