Social Anxiety

O’ how I wish
the shaking would cease
insecurity’s siblings:
Doubt and Misgiving
go away now and
leave me in peace

O’ how it pulses
the heartbeat inside
Adrenaline rising
my self I’m despising
please let me finish
diminish, denied

Were I alone
upon this bright stage
I’d be calm and free
not afraid to be me
and breathe life the bare words
affixed upon this pale and flimsy page

What trauma befell me
Before memory’s past
what torture session
suspended expression
of pure and honest self
before the curtain close at last

Did it happen to you too?
The accident that on purpose befell
The event that defied
being forgotten or denied?
The anyhow that ever I could
forgive of you, but never myself

The me I once loved
still quaked and shook,
and survived — not just
that, but thrived —
feared not looking foolish
Chances taken: advances took

O’ how I wish
the shaking would assuage
That I would know my spirit again
undiminished by my weary pain
And leave me be in peace
when next I grace this stage.

Jonnie Wilder, read at Work in Progress night, Vermillion 2019

Published by

Johanna Wilder

Yes, indeedy.