Puppeteer

I am a puppet

in a clown’s suit,

smiling and dancing

when I feel sad and tired.

 

Someone holds the strings

of my life in their hands,

moving them this way and that

as I move helplessly

about the stage of life.

 

Sometimes I change costumes.

 

Now I am

the strong man in the circus

lifting the heavyweights.

 

Inside I am weak.

 

I have no control over who I am.

What costumes I shall don.

My personality is my own,

but I shall never bring it out.

 

It has stage fright,

like many of the things

that are my own.

Scared to face life,

to face rejection,

to face the world.

 

For now, I shall

become something I am not.

Changing costumes

and hanging on strings,

while a puppeteer

moves me about,

here and there,

back and forth.

 

While the rest of me hides behind the curtains –

concealed from the world.

I wrote the following poem on March 8, 1990. I was fifteen years old. I had tried to run away at least three times and attempted suicide twice. I had started drinking as much as I could get away with throughout the day. I had bottles of “soda” in my lockers.

I didn’t think I had any reason to live. I didn’t understand why I existed.

And yet, here I am.

 

I am still here.

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