“Who, you!?” She exclaimed with a gasp,

After I told her, I too, felt out of place

Under watchful gazes in the tattoo parlor

People seemingly made of other stuff.

 

“But you’re so… you know, cool!”

I wondered when, this face had become seen as such.

The face kept to the sidelines as the other children played.

The face that hid behind backboards as not to draw notice

With tear-stained cheeks

 

Who, you?

They’d taunt, when I’d ask to play

They would place gum in my hair

Hurling insults just to watch me squirm

Scapegoated, I’d hide to avoid clenched fists.

 

Who, you?

Yes, me, but they made my skin like iron.

My wit fast

My tongue sharp, my eyes sharper

I emerged from the darkness, appearing as thunder.

With a heart trembling like rain.

 

 But it worked.

 

Boots loud and echoing, slamming thunderbolts

Now announce my presence, boldly

But rejection still stings

And I too, quail sometimes, out of place

In a world, one step away from cruelty, one step away from grace.

 

Who, you?

You may not see it, but yes, me. Me too.

This person you see in front of you

Is not much different from you

What we find acceptable is just perception

Changing with culture, time, and person.

 

This storm that was built, though mighty in visage

Has moments of weakness,

Just as you do.

 

Everyone is afraid. Unsure.

This is why people act as they do.

So damn age, look, ability, or status.

Walk in there, head held high.

 

Let your boots echo like thunder

And be who you choose to be

Your own storm

And when they ask, “who, you!?”

Despite the fear, be different

Say, “yes, me… and you, too!”

Photo Credit: keith ellwood Flickr via Compfight cc

Mika Durrant

Since childhood, Mika Durrant has seen the world through an artistic lens. From words to images, many creative mediums have been her tools for expression. She lives and works in Southern California, slowly being driven mad by two wily cats.

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