Monday, April 22, 2013

Socially Anxious Poetry


I started by cowering in the back of the room
Mouth open in awe of the woman before me:
She spoke my mind without ever meeting me,
She spoke her experiences to life,
She spoke.
I started by crying in the back of the room:
I could have written that myself
But I didn’t.

I walk through every day afraid of
The next moment someone will speak to me.
Kind words or not, human interaction is terrifying.
Drugged up or not, I have no idea what to say
When you smile and greet me.
I may have strong opinions and the words to share them
I may be talented at all the things I try
But the only thing that matters in the moment is that
I can’t catch my breath.

Yet, here I am! Alone, onstage, barely breathing,
Because I found power in poetry and I propelled myself forward;
I found healing in yelling my thoughts before an engrossed
Audience; FINALLY someone is listening, finally, someone is
Hearing me and cheering me on, finally, I don’t need a surrogate,

I walk through each day with my eyes lowered
Afraid of the vulnerability of eye contact. I flinch when
Someone tries to hold my hand, I don’t know
How to deal with a compliment. But,
I have meaningful ideas and I have found the words to share them.
I stepped in front of a crowd without a bullet proof vest and I
Emerged with lungs of steel and a voice like a siren and I
Will continue to shout from the stage
For myself
And for the person cowering in the back of the room, waiting
For their chance to come to life.

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