This week’s poem is by one of our community members. Here’s what they have to say about this piece:
I have a hard time using my voice…which can be troublesome for life, but also tricky when you’re navigating your way through “coming out”. This poem is about that experience and how I am trying to find my voice, learn to use it, and share it with others all at the same time.
The Road Out
Physically in the same place but feels like I’ve been travelling for miles,
Feet battered and bruised from walking through trials.
The kind of trials that come while on the road of self-discovery,
But I’m so ready to tap out, please, I need time for recovery.
Time to heal from the wounds the journey’s brought thus far,
Inflicted by others’ reactions that I know will leave scars.
Each time I hold my breath after saying “This is how I feel, this is me”
Met with seeming love and acceptance, they don’t realize the hidden “buts” that I see.
Feels like their love is conditioned by something I can’t control,
Like they’re rejecting something that’s an important part of my heart and my soul.
Others say they’re uncomfortable, they’d rather put this in a box,
It stings as I remember how hard I fought to break those closet locks.
They want me to communicate more, put more effort in,
Not realizing how much effort talking takes, it leaves me feeling paper thin.
And this process has brought more talking than I ever thought it would,
Which poses a problem because I’ve never thought my voice is any good.
I have trouble feeling like my words have any worth at all,
Censoring every single sentence, I could never just let them fall.
It’s like there’s a paralyzing needle, self doubt fills the syringe,
So afraid to make a mistake, every time I speak my ears cringe.
Why can’t this road be one of silence, would that be such a crime?
Why must I learn about myself and share it with others at the same time?
I’m just about to wave the flag of surrender, but someone stops me in my tracks,
He won’t let me give up, instead He very lovingly and gently lays out all the facts.
“My dear sweet child, you have a voice because I gave you one,
So please put down that flag, our work has only just begun.”
I plead with Him, “But I’m so tired and I’m hurting, I just want to hide away,
I always feel weird and different and I can’t find the right words to say.
Who I am makes others uncomfortable, it’s awkward can’t you see?
And I am much to shy and quiet, so would you just let me be?”
I fall to the ground, crushed by the weight of all the shame,
But He folds me in His arms and whispers, “I know exactly who you are and I love you just the same.
I will not put you in a box, you have a story, important words to share,
Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s scary, but I promise I will always be right there.
I love you because you are my daughter, in that I take great delight,
You have a spark, just give it time and it will make the world more bright.”
He kneels down and washes my feet, binds up every bruised and broken toe,
Then He grabs my hand, helps me stand, and asks if I am ready to go.
I’m about to quietly nod when I remember the voice he gave to me,
Instead I confidently say, “YES,” and it feels so good to let that word run free.