Performing: One Of My Biggest Fears

I haven’t performed my poetry since high school

My English teacher made me feel like a fool

and the response I got

They didn’t care the poem was about our classmate who was brutally shot

All they saw and heard was me

A product of my personality

None of them knowing I was a broken child from a good home

I couldn’t allow myself to condone

they’re giggles and blank stares

Listening to my voice and not the words I shared

Typical school age hate

None of them thought they could relate

to the girl who was soooo unpopular

no need for them to listen to her

And that’s what I’ve carried around for years

Their chide remarks and painful jeers

And the notes on my work from my English teacher’s view

“Dig deeper with your writing or I’m failing you.”

Through heat searing summers and blistering winters

I’ve been afraid of the stage and the mic at its center

The blinding lights and watchful eyes

Knowing my insecurity I cannot hide

Most people think I don’t perform because of pride

It’s honestly because of that high school girl inside

The one who waited for a thunderous applause

cuz she was speaking about a just cause

But all she got was laughter

She cried and threw up in the bathroom after

When there’s an opportunity for me to speak the words I write

my anxiety goes out of control and my courage takes flight

Don’t get me wrong, I crave the stage

wanting to share the verses I create

Yet my mind takes me back to that auditorium filled to capacity

Where kids talked during my poem – Yea, they had the audacity

The teacher who made me perform cuz he thought it would do me some good

He didn’t listen to my claims of being misunderstood

The faculty that watched my performance go up in flames

Not stopping the kids from yelling out and calling me names

I can’t seem to get their hurtful words out of my ears

This is why performing is one of my biggest fears