Poem: The Veil

nommo picThere are times when I am less aware

of what is draped before my closed eyes.

I begin to feel as if

we’re both on the same side.


Acceptance is the trick

that has been pulled from the magician’s hat,

and my eyes are mesmerized,

looking left while the real trick happens stage right.

But then I look closer

with critical eyes and I see it

I almost missed it, but now I see

hiding behind the acceptance, it’s judgment.


Not the kind I welcome

where my labor is rewarded, my efforts recognized,

but quite the opposite.

I am hindered by this judgment.

Expected to never be quite as good,

to never measure up.


And then as if to remind me of its presence

fabric brushes the edge of my nose

cueing my eyes to flit open

and stare at the elaborate pattern

of the veil before my face

and my awareness returns.


I can once again clearly see the divide

between me and them,

between us and them.

I can see it in the looks of surprise,

I can hear it in the words they speak.

The subtext booms

and rings eternally in my ears:

“That’s pretty good for a…

Not at the same level as…

Will always be less than…”


But I refuse

to view myself that way

to be imprisoned behind this veil.

I will not forget its presence,

I will not forget who placed it there.


Instead I use that

knowledge to drive me.

I won’t be “pretty good for a…”

I will simply be good.

I don’t care to be “at the same level as…”

I strive to surpass that level and the one above it.

I won’t view myself as “less than…”

because I am not.


Though I’ve been pushed behind the veil

my crystal vision shows me both sides

It will not trap me, it will not bind me

it will not break me.

Because it is my ability to see

that allows me to be free.