i stood waiting for the music
to start, heart beating so fast,
i was sure it could be heard over
the microphone on the stand in front
of me. i closed my eyes at the opening
measures, felt the beat in my bones,
breathed in the melody and heard the
words in my head one last time before
i opened my eyes and opened my mouth
and let it all out.

seconds later, it seemed, it was quiet
and i was frightened. my eyes had closed
of their own accord and without my knowledge
sometime during the song and when i opened
them, i was swept off my feet by the sound
of delight, of affirmation, of acceptance.

it's just one voice in a sea of noise, but
it's my voice, and i don't sing my song
because i think people will like it, but
because i have to sing it. if everyone
turned their backs and shouted over me,
i would still sing. i can't stop it. it
is as much me as my brown hair, my blue
eyes, my mind. it is all that i am and
it is nice that people like it better than
i do myself, for i grow weary of the song,
the constant pounding of it inside me, with
me when i sleep, still there when i wake up.

it is nice that people like it, but it is not
the important thing. the important thing is
that it is my song, my voice, my life, and i
know every part of it, every note and nuance.
it is there when i am lost and it brings me
home. it is there when i am afraid and it
gives me courage. it is there when i am
lonely and it is my friend. it is there
when i am hurt and it gives me peace.

given to me with my first breath, i shall
not give it up until i breathe my last.
and if it be possible, i will sing it for
all the ages after this one. i make no
apologies for it anymore as i did when i
was young. i have learned to say "thank
you" to those who exclaim over it, have
learned that it is a gift that not everyone
is given and it has been a curse at times,
too. but it is my song and nothing, no one
can take it from me or change it.


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