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Who Am I without Others' Labels: A Poem


Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.


Who am I?

They gave me a body manly and strong

and a bunch of rules to make me complete

along with a flag as an excuse to belong;

also a childhood, too short and rarely sweet

and a god to call should things go wrong.

Innocent in ignorance, but always good-willing

with a legacy of lies inherited from others

they passed it on to me to make it my ceiling

with a love of parents, with a care of brothers.

All those labels as if meant to annoy

something else demanded by each

not letting me stay just a little boy

everyone with something to teach.

Years passed and life happened in a hurry

fragmented sense of self became more so

making reality undefined and blurry

and me in it just as unclear also.

Many times as they would call my name

there was something phony in that sound

like a missing picture from a signed frame

in that gallery of empty frames all around.

Who am I?

Sometimes at a junkyard a flower may grow

after all masks and fig leaves are torn

with all those calendars so little to show

and just with enigma of being born.

But driven from within by a stubborn quest

like caterpillar surprised by a pair of wings

I drifted through my years in search of my best

with humbleness of beggars, and dignity of kings.

So who am I really, and does it matter

for this joy of being doesn't need a label

as if I got it all on a silver platter

every single crumb on my royal table.

© 2021 Val Karas

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