please don't take credit off

I hate how people put so much pressure on Messi. Like what more do people want and expect from someone who has already given them enough? Unless Messi is scoring a hat trick in every match, it’s like people are never satisfied. Yes, Messi isn’t the same as before but he hasn’t changed all that much neither is he as bad as people are constantly portraying him to be. The injury Messi had to go though was a very, very difficult one and I m not using this as an excuse or anything, it’s the truth. It had a profound effect on him and it has taken him time to recover from it. We might never see the same Messi again but we might see a better one. When he’s not scoring, he’s assisting when he’s not doing that, he’s dribbling past 5 players when he’s not doing that, he’s making an amazing run or giving crazy passses! He never stops, he always does something magical but unless it’s a goal, people rarely care. Critics are always too hard on him. I guess everyone is so used to watching him score a lot of goals all the time, it’s considered unusual when he doesn’t score or that he’s off form or ‘messi’s days are over’. He contributes to the game more than any player I know, what he does is out of this world and we will never see someone like him again. He enjoys this game and is always more worried about winning matches than breaking individual records. I just want to point one thing out to his critics: if this is an off form Messi you’re witnessing, then imagine an on form one.

Smoke and Mirrors by Laala Kashef Alghata

Look at the looking glass
they say,
they say, see how lucky
you are.

But it’s all smoke
and mirrors, 

so tell me how to count
my blessings

on my fingers 
or toes–

in my head, 
or by counting sheep.

Tell me everything that’s right
but even if it’s true,
like my old photographs
it’s overexposed
and every lie is a sword run through my heart.

They tell me to count my blessings
with a shrug,
they say
don’t collect your tears in a cup.

I count my blessings
in papercuts
from reading books
or muscle strain
from breathless hugs.