To my teenage sister

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It seems that just a while ago

I wore those shoes you do.

I tried hard to do my best

to be well-liked, like you.

I struggled hard to find my place;

I cried. I felt so all alone.

At times I didn’t fit in anywhere

not even at my home.

I was teased for being happy.

To get good grades was “wrong.”

Labeled “gay” without a boyfriend

How could I carry on?

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I could stand for truth I guess,

But then I’d stand alone.

My fire died. I drooped and cried

a fizzled, miserable tone.

For a year or more I suffered

underneath their heavy weight

sad and quiet, they had won

and I accepted fate.

‘Til it occurred to me

how little I had gained.

I had tried their way and got nothing

except constant pain.

I wasn’t me anymore

and I could not please them.

What was left for me to do

but choose to live again?

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And so I gave my heart a scrub

and set out to do just what I liked.

I let my true self out

and stopped being afraid to be myself.

Doing what I loved was fun

and being what I thought best

gave me joy and confidence

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to let go of the rest.

That blissful state of popularity

I doubt really exists

except for those who love themselves

and life the way it is.

DSH 4/2/07

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