This piece was written more than a year ago, after my wonderful voice coach, Lynn, accused me of hiding behind my fear. She invited me to play with the idea, and this is what I came up with. I do not claim to be a poet by any definition, and my apologies to those of you who truly are poets.
Behind the Fear
Fear makes me do weird things.
Knives no longer write my fear on flesh;
Fear carves treachery into my own heart,
Letting cowardice and procrastination ooze out
like so much crude oil spilling into Prince William Sound,
Despoiling the fragile ecosystem I called my soul.
I feel shadows in sunlight, taste marble in cotton candy
Until friend becomes enemy, becomes lover, becomes God
and I can’t remember what freedom sounds like.
Somebody tell me what to do with this.
Because it’s heavy.
I’m made into someone I’m not, someone I despise,
Who clings to the fragrance of shit on your shoe
because I can’t bear the loss of even imagined interest.
Makes me question every word I’ve ever uttered, every hurt I’ve ever bled,
Mixing pain and longing into a stew of angst, and loathing.
Because the idea that I can soar above the fate my history would have me play out?
The notion that I am not defined by my past nor bound to its lies?
The possibility that I am the pearl of great worth?
Scares the hell out of me.