I pretended, spared your pride
Never whispered to the neighbors

I never accused you
Pointed the finger
Played dirty or strung you up

I didn’t ask questions
Interrogate you
Put up walls or play games

So you saw me as small

And you dismissed me
Little by little
Ignoring me
Day by day

And you know
You know it’s true
Heart pounding
Breath hitching
Even as you read
Fumbling clumsily in your conscience

I was neatly labeled
Filed away
Placed on a shelf
To be forgotten about

I was not asleep
Or too stupid to notice

I am not a fool
Only kind, only gentle
Not vindictive or malicious

I am intelligent
I am here
I am not nothing
I am not small at all

I used to squeak
Screech and cry out
Like a coarse seagull
Desperate for a handout

Now I am a bird of prey
Perched on high
Watching, waiting
Knowing my day will come

And I see it all

Now I am silent
I am wise
I do not need to be seen
To matter

Your blind eye spoke volumes
Not about me
But you

While you made noise
While you danced and sang
Insecure about my catch of the day…

I did notice

Don’t mistake my silence
My kindness
For stupidity

I praised your success
Sang for your sorrows
And I saw you
Always, simply, saw you

While you spoke louder
Basked in the spotlight
Railroaded me
Certain you knew better
Judging unread pages

I saw you
While you tripped over yourself
On your way to betray me

In love with an idea
A perception of reality
How embarrassing
I was standing right here
Smirking, observing

You were not listening
Your eyes were closed
Always closed

And so I realized
You were not worth me

How silly
How foolish
Did you think you would stop me?

My fire still burns
Growing fiercer every day
Friends joining me
Warming their hands and hearts

They see me
And have come to share in my light

But don’t worry…

I’ll pretend, spare your pride
Never whisper to the neighbors

I’ll never accuse you
Point the finger
Play dirty or string you up

But are we friends?
True friends?

Photo Credit: Andriy Markiv (Pinterest/Yitik Yasam)

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