if you were to see me
you would see only
a deep hole
Reflection on Bitter
by Rachael Orbach
To me this poem is about the feeling of extreme frustration. The person is so bitter that he cannot see beyond himself in any way. No matter how he looks at himself, he is bitter, there is no room for any other feeling or expression.
The bitter leaf left out to dry is himself, left outside, no one cares about him, he is completely alone and bitter.
Bitterness is an emotion that comes after another emotion. It is not a primary emotion. Usually the first emotion either sadness, or disappointment. The person didn't get the promotion, or in this case perhaps he didn't even get the job because he is black or African. Then after the disappointment has developed, and the person has sulked for a while, the person develops anger and then after that bitterness, the loss of hope.
This person in the poem is really at his wits end. There is no place for him anywhere.
That he is able to actually write and function is a miracle itself.