W e've seen it done in many ways ~ In gestures, words, and quips ...
Among the teacups and the buzz, It comes from busy lips.

The cloak we fashion for ourselves To cover and protect ...
We wave it fiercely back and forth And hope they won't suspect.

It's out in front ~ our gauntlet self -- We hold it like a shield.
It's such a joke - it's full of holes! But it's all we have to wield.

Our every word is buffered well: [At least we wish it so]
The fragile id and fearful self Encased in ice and snow.

So longing to reach out and touch, Yet terrified to BE.
The many faces, names and shells... I wonder what they see.

I tried so hard to strike a pose Since 'All the world's a stage'
And showed them stoic, empty stares Instead of tears and rage.

The outer skin was working well; I thought I was in tact.
Eventually I let myself Forget it was an act.

I kept the front and met the days With stiffened upper lip.
Tho draped in puzzles, still I laid My arrows from the hip.

And just when foes would zero in To aim and take their shot,
I'd fake to left and turn to right And be where they were NOT!

This fancy old "Joe Lewis trick" Just makes them scratch their head.
When I am threatened, I become A different me instead.

The art of changing isn't just A lark or funny game ...
It's for survival, learned when young, To keep me somewhat sane.

When circumstances are too much For little one to bear,
He has to hide parts of himself That simply can't be there.

An alcoholic parent sets The child on high alert.
He learns to play his parent's moods To minimize his hurt.

And so he rides their liquor beast, So fierce and volatile.
He discerns in a split second's time When to cry and when to smile.

The quick change talent serves him well Throughout his older years ~
He learns to change his faces now Before he sheds more tears.

He dodges arrows all his life. Some real and many not.
So occupied with fear, he can't Perceive the love he sought.

So after going all the way To where the hurt began,
I vowed that I would find myself And become whole again.

For many years, with many helpers Crying out to God,
Year by year He shed light on My thinly worn facade.

And then one day while forging on Determined to be well,
A shard of glass fell to the floor ~ Illumined, I could tell ...

My healing now has reached the point Where I no longer use
Defenses made of smoking glass Or clever outer ruse.

I did the work, I walked the miles And learned the lessons - now
When others come to me in need, I humbly tell them how ...

Sad, frightened, lonely little me Could shatter such a pane!
If you are hiding, IT'S NOT TOO LATE! True self can be regained.

© D. Ames - November 2003
* Dedicated to my Dear Friend, Beatrice Maloney-Duffy *


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NOTE:  I offer this poem as a word of HOPE for all who are lonely, frightened, or afraid to be themselves for any reason. I urge you to find a friend or helper - there are many support groups, internet groups, and volunteer people just waiting to help. There is no need to be unhealthy anymore! And that means there is no excuse.

There are only 2 reasons we remain unhealthy: FEAR or APATHY -- If we want help, and are willing to do our part, I believe miracles will happen. It may take some time, and we will have karmic lessons to learn, but that is what life is all about.  ... Your sister in love, Dianne Ames [aka:MissDeal] ... Namesté

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