The Prisoner Within
I enter a dimly-lit room,
You are sitting on the couch,
your face wet with tears.
A song plays softly in the background.
I know the tune but not the singer.
It doesn’t matter.
How long have you sat there,
with your thoughts?
Your body held in place by invisible chains?
You look up
and smile apologetically
and my heart breaks for you.
Oh, my beautiful friend,
you have nothing to be ashamed of.
For it is not the outer person I see;
only the brave man trapped inside.
If asked, could you tell me what burdens you?
Or is the sadness so deep,
you feel the answer inaccessible?
Who do you weep for, my friend?
Is it for the man lost?
or the boy struggling for acceptance?
I remember a day at the beach,
soon after I met you, before I knew your story.
We walked and talked;
talked and talked the full length of the sand
to the rocks at the far end.
At their very edge
you stood in the spray of the crashing waves,
the breeze whipping around us
and you laughed out loud;
a shout of pure joy.
With your arms wide,
you challenged the ocean and the swell,
leaning forward on that uneven rock,
laughing all the while.
And I saw, in a magical moment, your spirit soar free,
and glimpsed you, the boy within,
and fell in love.