The Power of Words – A Poem

I was once called broken.

I pictured my skin full of cracks,

parts of me falling out of my body.

I felt like I had been ripped apart

until I realized that broken

was a word that belonged

to the person who spoke it.

Once I realized this,

I was able to mend the cracks

that covered my skin.

I was once called cripple.

I was mocked every day

over how I walked and moved.

I was made to feel like the elephant man,

a freak in my own body

that I could not control

until I realized that I was not crippled,

that my body was capable of

acts of the greatest strength.

I was not the elephant man

but the mighty lion.

I was once called faggot,

being raised to hate what I was,

and the secret that I carried within myself.

I would look at myself,

seeing only something to be loathed.

For a time, I cut myself with my words,

hoping to bleed the gayness out of me

until I realized that I didn’t fear myself,

it was someone else’s fear that I was manifesting.

The fear left me when I began to love myself.

These three words,

broken, cripple and faggot,

haunted me for a time,

running around in my head like a mantra,

but as I saw these words for what they were,

I could let the fear and the hate go.

As the fear fled from me,

new words began to take shape

within my mind, body and spirit:

shine, strong, love.

These words have become my new mantra,

they are the song that I sing

to bring me back home

to myself.

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