Behind Me - Poem by Claudia Krizay
In the early morning
I venture outward, where the trees grow tall and
The deer run freely.
The deer are shy and timid, as I can be-
I call them my friends.
Sometimes people walk my path-
I call it my path because I want to own the world, the trail.
Sometimes people walk toward me and
For the moment it terrifies me, angers me, and makes me wish to run the other way.
Then, there are those people who walk closely behind me-
Inside of the fortress of my mind, I feel threatened by their presence and
I fear as if they are following me, invading my space.
I tolerate the wind and even love the way each gust caresses my arms
As it comforts me, while the beauty of the trees
Paint a scenic picture within the world of my thoughts.
But the moment I see somebody walking along my path, behind me
I feel that I am under attack.
I have been told by many that this is a delusion.
I remember having other delusions- some delusions of grandeur,
Delusions that people who truly loved me and wished me well
Wanted to persecute me. I remember many years ago
I believed that none but ordinary people were gods or goddesses,
I built altars to them out of cardboard coat boxes in the attic.
And there were the days when I refused to speak,
Would not leave my bedroom and lived in a fabricated world-
To me this was all reality.
Today, I still panic when I see others walking behind me.
I want to own the trail, the woodlands, to communicate with the deer,
In my own gentle and non threatening way.
I still fear those who approach behind me wish me harm-
But today I know that the fabricated world I lived in years ago was phantasmal and
There are people who love me and do not wish me harm.
Sometimes I can smile and greet approaching strangers and
Cardboard coat boxes are what they are- not altars
Someday perhaps I will believe people who walk behind me shall never harm me,
And as are those other delusions that at one time ruled my life,
This shall also come to my realization as being none but a delusion, and
As I keep walking forward in time this one also, shall be behind me-
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