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What I Have Been

This poem appeared in the December 1995 issue of M.E.N. Magazine


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In the stillness of night

blankets of darkness

smother all my attempts

to remember

who I once was.


I am six years old, soon to be thirty

From a solitary tower high above me

float the faint voices

of my parents,

drifting down like black snow.

"He's so timid."

"He's so shy."

"He withdraws from others."

"We're so embarrassed.

What shall we do?"


I would run from this house,

were it not for the chains of shame

anchoring me solidly to the bedpost.


Ten years pass

while troubled thoughts

shift sleeplessly

on the chilled edge of dawn.

A person emerges before me

to volunteer this observation:

"You seem timid, shy,

and tend to withdraw from others."


I would run from this conversation,

were it not for the chains of my parents' voices

reminding me to be a good boy.

© 1995 Guy Peckham

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