Glimpses

Tegan and Sara Concert

I hear a whispered voice
Full of childlike wonder
Excited to be in this place
To be with these people
To know her mother belongs
And by extension so does she
Her mother smiles
And quietly speaks
The queer community
It’s large and diverse
I see the smile on her face
Reflecting the joy
Radiating from her child’s face
Unobserved I find myself
Smiling in return
I understand the wonder
My eyes mirror the same

Standing in line
Quietly I watch
Sweet and so earnest
Yet wary to meet another’s eye
Trepidation visible in every pore
Would someone question
The choice of gendered washroom
What assumptions are being made
Our eyes quickly catch
I smile in welcome
Older femme to young, baby butch
I know the fear of assumptions made
Wish I had known myself that well
When I was still so young

My eyes are drawn in
Beautiful woman leans over
Shares a gentle kiss
With her much loved wife
Their tenderness obvious
Telegraphed across the distance
Of the sold-out theatre
My heart expands
With hope
Possibilities newly dreamed

The crowd is diverse
Encompassing gender, age
Sexuality and race
But visible across the spectrum
Whatever initial each of us claim
Our queerness is celebrated
Proudly proclaimed
In this space any need
To hide or pass
Far from our minds
These are our people
Music born from stories
That we call our own

—–

Primarily written during intermission at the Tegan and Sara concert early in March 2014.

Afraid

My brain says
It’s no one’s business
But my own

Why do I need
To tell everyone
Their assumptions
About me are
Flawed

Why should I need
To announce
I’m queer
Not straight

Why can’t I simply
Live my life
Love who I love
With no need of
Explanation

On the surface
That path should be
Available
Completely reasonable

My sexuality
Is my business
The only other
Who needs to know
Someone I have not met
Yet

My heart says
I can’t move beyond
Dreaming

If I’m afraid to claim
The truth of who I am
If I’m afraid of
Needing to explain

Forty-thee years of denying
Forty-three years of hiding
Not just from them
But even harder
To comprehend
From myself

That’s the question
I don’t want to answer
How could I
Live my life
So completely
Unaware
Repressed
Oblivious
Hidden
Lost
Broken
Afraid

Striving
To be someone
I never have been

Rather than being
The me
The world around
Said was sinner
Flawed
Disgusting
Abomination
Hated by God

So I hid
So deep
In such darkness
It took
Forty-three years
To find my way back
To myself

But I am still afraid

I am

Word TicketsI am a caterpillar
locked in the middle
of metamorphosis

I am a buttoned-up knot
in need of unwinding

I am learning to wallow
in the gift of doubt

I am a renegade
from the faith of my youth
unwilling to pay the price
of being true blue
to everyone’s expectations

I am choosing to delight
in my fortitude
and stop the balancing act
of keeping my impudent mouth
anesthetized by my parents’ world

——–

Written during Liz Lamoreux’s Poem It Out Workshop at Soulsisters in October 2013. She’d given each of us a handful of word tickets. Our task was to write a poem using the words on those tickets. I was surprised by the truths that appeared on the page before me.