Some time ago the invitation came.
“I’m going to The Reading Room, are you game?”
I’m uncomfortable meeting humans face to face.
Can’t we do this at your place?
“What’s your worry? Your work is good,
I’ve read some and I want more.”
I won’t fit in. They are young and what’s that word…”woke”?
Read my work aloud? Yeah, that’s a joke.
My world is far removed from theirs, far from being “woke.”
“My friend, it will surprise you, just how little they know
about what it means to be truly “woke.”
A chance to hear your heart could be the start
that rescues them from their yoke.”
I’ve seen first-hand the hurt of peer pressure,
The desperate need to measure up.
To be needed and valued by anyone who feeds their ego.
If you promise to call me out on that, I’ll go.
After some time, I went along.
First, we listened to a writer’s song, and then
He followed that with what he penned.
My heart was stirred and drawn to learn
What was this passion? What made them yearn.
To have their words heard.
Was it not enough to write to you?
One Poet more, and then two
Shared their words in voice and page.
Many knew of what they spoke;
Who knows, perhaps there’s more to being woke.
Braved the night and soon I spoke,
My words to share.
No one laughed, snickered, or stared.
They asked for more and so I read.
I gathered with friends and got out of my head.