“The Fear of Being Discovered” by P.C.A.W. (inspired by Glen Allen’s “The Woman I Am”)

“The Woman I Am” by Glen Allen (from The Best Loved Poems of the American People, copyright 1936, Doubleday & Company, Inc., page 615)

The woman I am
Hides deep in me
Beneath the woman
I seem to be.

She hides away
From the stranger’s eye–
She is not known
To the passer-by.

She goes her way,
The woman I seem,
But the woman I am
Withdraws to dream!

The woman I seem
Goes carelessly–
When love goes by
Does not seem to see.

But the woman I am
Knows sudden fear…
And hides more deeply
When love draws near!

For love might look closely
Perhaps… and see
Her beneath the woman
I seem to be!

 

“The Fear of Being Discovered” by P.C.A.W.

Who am I? As the poem, “The Woman I Am” states, who I am hides deep inside me, afraid to let others know the real me. I hide behind a myriad of masks everyday, but let me hear a song that brings tears like “Fifty Thousand Names (Carved in the Wall)” by George Jones, and one mask falls off for a bit. Yes, I can put myself in the picture, feeling the loss that someone else may be feeling, although on the surface you may see “It’s no skin off my nose so why should I care?”
You walk by me on the street, but do not see the real me. What you see is the outer embodiment. Getting to know me takes time. It’s like peeling the layers from an onion. The fear of being totally exposed only drives me deeper within myself. It is a struggle to let anyone close because of being hurt so many times.
You sit down beside me on the bus reeking of cigarette smokes. You do not appear to notice that I am having trouble breathing, and I will not say anything to you. Even though it is your right to foul your own health, you are fouling mine also. I will just cover my mouth and nose with my clothes so I don’t smell your smoke.
How many times have you started a statement with, “I’m afraid”? Is that you trying to hide?
We all hide behind masks every day.

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