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I learned young
To build a confidence
Maybe even a swagger
In how I carry myself amongst others
A survival mechanism
Created out of necessity

You see
I was raised around dominant men
And I realized early
If I wanted a voice
I had to stand toe to toe
And make them listen

It’s been a part of me for so long
That I don’t even realize it’s on

It’s hard to juggle that
And meet people
It deters and intimidates most
And those it doesn’t are attracted
To the idea of a confident woman
But not the reality of it

I think I scare people when I do drop that guard
I’ve discovered I have no half way
Just on or off with no dimmer switch
And that level of wide open vulnerability
Is uncomfortable to them

I’ve yet to find someone
Who can handle both versions of me
And pretending to be something else
Has never been one of my talents

Always

She pushed through
Pushed on
And most of the time
She kept that smile
Firmly in place
But every now and then
It slipped
And people asked
Why she was sad
Why she was angry
She laughed it off each time
And sank a little deeper
The truth was
She was always a little sad and angry
And it didn’t take much looking to see it
But people don’t look

Hurricane

He loved her
The way she never could stand still
How she loved the sun and the moon
Equally and for such different reasons
The way her smile could flash
As fast as her temper would flare
How she loved the next horizon
And miles under tires
And all the reasons why
He loved her
Were why she left
In the dead of a downpour night

He never saw her again
And he never forgot her
How do you forget a hurricane
That once whispered your name