In a society that claims to value individual freedoms—it's a shame that people are (still) ridiculed for simply being themselves. There's no reason that anyone should have to hide or live a lie because they fear being ostracized, hurt, or even killed. It's unacceptable. We've lost too many due to the hateful, intolerant ways of others in this world. It must end. In tribute to those we've lost, here's "Gone Too Soon," a poem from the "Life" section of my book Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics.
Gone Too Soon
Fighting with the world everyday,
Trying to stand firm on ground that changes like DC metro area weather,
Not knowing when it's safe to be you, or when it's best to retreat:
It's safer on the inside—sometimes.
The golden era ended quicker than you could comprehend.
And you were thrust upon the audacity of disgust and hatred
From people you thought were your friends,
People you thought were your family,
People who said they loved you but you just can't seem to trust.
You've walked a line that many people claim they can handle but couldn't, even if humanity depended on it.
It's a line that you don't want to walk.
It's a line that often runs faster than the speed of sound and light, with a soundtrack that repeats daily.
And you're tired of hearing it.
Living in a world where people get high off of ridicule and bullying,
One is left numb,
Not wanting to deal.
The help you need never arrives when you need it.
It always comes too late.
You push and push,
And push and push.
And you keep pushing,
But the force always seems to kill your spirit.
It was at first a temporary thing,
But the period of death began to outlast the periods of rebirth.
There's a lot that you can and have dealt with,
But it's the pain and its lasting effects
That cut you down to nubs,
The hurt practically defying man's comprehension of depth.
If you could only find relief,
A sweet release from it all …
If only …
The inner light quickly fades.
And you succumb to a place
Where your spirit will forever reign.
You'll be safe from harm and healed
From a lifetime of pain.
If only it didn't have to come to this.
If only …
You'd still be here.
If only …
You could’ve been saved.
Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.