“What post?” I ask, trying to remember what I last wrote about.
“The poem,” he says. “Gift.”
I feel breathless for a moment. My stomach clenches and I feel mildly nauseous. I didn’t mean to post a poem yet. I wasn’t ready.
I actually created the post some time ago, with the intention of publishing it while I was away on holidays. But at the last moment, I changed the publish date from mid-August to what I thought was the end of September. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to post a poem then, I thought at the time. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been. I’m pretty sure that I would have changed the publish date once again. But because of my own oversight and the magic of the WordPress publishing tools, my poem is out there for all to see.
I don’t know why I’m so reticent to go public with my poetry. I’m perfectly happy to bare my soul in prose. I’ve written about falling in and out of love, I’ve written about sex, I’ve written about having boudoir photos taken. So what’s the big deal about poetry? Why do I feel so vulnerable knowing that one of my poems is out there in the world?
It took me a long time to acknowledge myself as a writer. Apparently I’m not quite ready to acknowledge myself as a poet. It’s one of those quietly held dreams, one of those things I’m afraid to speak out loud yet. I want to protect this part of me.
And I see this need to protect emerging as a motif in my life: my need to protect my children; my need to protect the poet in me ; my need to protect my heart. And, I think, it’s time to ask myself why. Why am I so fiercely protective about these things? At what cost?
And what would happen if I let go of that need to protect?
I’d love to know what you’re protecting.