My Path to Pride

I live with memories now,
Memories of a fragile youth,
Memories of two worlds:
The world in which I walked
And the world in which I lived,
I walked differently.
Unlike other boys, hale and hardy,
Drawn to macho things
Like sports and girls,
I, less robust, was drawn
To "sissy" things like art and singing
And dreamed dreams I dared not share,
Dreams others could not understand or approve,
Dreams that haunted me and made me feel ashamed,
Dreams about other boys
Whose taut, lithe bodies excited me.
Young and hungry for forbidden fruit,
I found pleasure in fantasies
And walked awkwardly among those I would deceive.
Now bent, cane in hand,
I walk unsteadily, head high,
Through a new day
In a new world.

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