Poem: The Hard Work

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The Hard Work

Years
of work,
of peering inside myself like a stranger,
like a mystery,
peeling the onion,
shedding the tears,
ranting, oh my yes, ranting
and discovering
the light and the dark,
the connections hard-wired,
the ones that needed cutting,
the tangles that come
from trying to be what evidently, I was not,
the hard work of knowing myself,
after years of being locked in a trunk, afraid
of everyone else,
when what I needed to be afraid of
was my own fears.
Years of it,
of digging through the dirt of a life
well lived, but not mine entirely,
a slave to cause and effect
instead
of simply allowing myself
to be myself
and letting friends fall away or gather close
as they will.

Hard
work.

Not in discovery,
but in release,
allowing myself to dance and mourn
no matter who is in the room.

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