by Jenny Gable

I sit here thinking, wondering what to say,
Poetry should be beautiful, why do the words not flow?
Usually it's so easy -
A topic, a thought, the words come.
Why when it means so much more,
Do I find so much less to say?

I'm not afraid of speaking,
Though I was, not long ago.
I'm not afraid of loving,
As wrong as some make it seem.
I know myself now,
I can't be hidden anymore.

People hid me for so long,
No laugh, no smile, no expression was allowed.
They had the friends, they had the fun,
They must be what's successful,
But I don't want to be mean like them!

The comments were there,
Day in and day out.
I was hidden for so long.
I didn't know myself!
I knew all kinds of things,
Math, words, biology, physics,
But what use was it, when
I didn't know myself?!

I couldn't possibly be that Other,
That unknown, unseen, unnatural Other,
That Other that wasn't society,
That Other that surely wasn't me.

But then who am I?
I am not everybody else!
I am not even one someone else.
I am me, but who is me?
I am not society. I am me.

A change of school, a new address,
New groups of friends, less cliqueishness;
Soon I began to see the Other,
A known, seen, natural, significant Other,
Would I respond with the fear and hate,
That plagued my life for so long?

A burst of emotion exploded then;
I knew I could not ever hate.
Those who hated had been so wrong,
Yet I had listened for so long...

A year it took me, a year in full,
To even ask myself the question;
So in the habit was I still
Of avoiding thinking about the Question.

So at 17 I took the risk,
Looked at myself honestly.
I found what I expected to fear,

Yet I did not fear this revelation -
The months had taken their toll,
And removed from me the fright that
Had previously stopped me from seeing my soul.

Of telling others I was still afraid;
Memories of prejudice filled me still,
But in the autumn as college was near,
I took the step, and I'm still here.

I understand a lot more now
Than I did when I first "came out"
To myself and close friends, then family;
I've found what this is about.

I've known for years that I have a task,
Set before me to do on Earth.
To heal separation of people from Love,
To rejoin the broken pieces of life on Earth.

So I step forward each chance I get,
Taking the risks that scare me the most.
I show what's inside, I hold it up high,
I hope the little light won't go out.

Oh, I'm terrified at each step I take,
But what else can I do?
There's no way out but winning now;
I can't go back; something new
Shows up every day for me,
To help my dreams (and others') come true.

[OASIS]General information: Jeff Walsh
Design and HTML: Jase Pittman-Wells
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