I've always overthought things

I could never let myself go

I was scared of what I'd find

I was scared of what would show

Sometimes I feel caged

Like a bird aching to fly

Other times I am so small

There is no point to even try

I've got such love to give

But I'm scared to give it away

Terrified of of pained rejection

And of what others would say

I try so hard to write the words

To perfectly express

All my feelings of denial

Of happiness and distress

So instead I hide inside

And lock myself away

Where no one else can hurt me

Where there is no night or day

At times I feel horrid

Both inside and out

That there is no word of worth

That dare come out my mouth

Today I feel weak

That there is no hope ahead

It's times like these I wonder

If it would be better I were dead

But yet I don't see any point

In giving in so easily

Throwing everything away

Before anyone really sees me

But is there anyone to know?

To listen close to what I say?

To understand me as I am

And love me anyway?

You see, my friend, it's times like this

Where I feel most alone

No one to walk beside m

And show me what is home

I've never fully told

What haunts me deep inside

I'm more prone to speak in riddles

So things are easier to hide

My love, words can wound

And scar you oh, so deep

But to wither away

I instead let my pencil weep

I guess that some will say

That it is my way to confess

All my demons, all my troubles

That I'm often scared to express

I suppose it's how I cope

And get through day to day

To paste a smile on my face

When I have so many things to say

I never called myself a poet

I look down upon my words

But how else can I convey things

When people ignore what they have heard?

Why choose to be so closeted

And dismiss a plea for help?

To turn the other cheek

Saying "It's their problem" to yourself

I have heard it often said

The pen is mightier than the sword

And it's true, for when I choose to rest

I lean back upon my words.

~Mandy Jo Bates

January 1, 2012