Tears And Secrets 

​On day 17 of NaPoWriMo I’ve did what every poet does and let the muse take me where it will. On this occasion, it decided to take me back to a pivotal moment on my journey to womanhood when I decided I had to transition or bust. 

This is an important landmark in any trans person’s life and I was lucky to have a fantastic support network of friends most of whom came from tight knit world’s  of the  spoken word poetry, and traditional music communities. When you add in friends I’ve made through church,  politics, the LGBT scene, and a few others I’ve made along the way you can see I’ve been very fortunate to have the support I have. 

Others however have not been as lucky as me and it’s for them I write this poem in the sure and certain knowledge that had I not been blessed with such a wide and diverse circle of friends the women I described in it could have been me.After discussing potential titles with my friend Jenny Eeles  I have given it the title Tears And Secrets which I hope conveys the struggle faced by many trans people and in particular trans woman I hope you enjoy what I think will be challenging and thought provoking read.  

Tears And Secrets 
He was never the type to step too far from familiarity 

let alone experiment with gender or  sexuality 

at least not in public 

worried about others and their opinions 

he kept his secrets behind closed doors 

until the bottle of pills that  lay beside him 

meant it could be ignored no longer 

this was stronger than anyone thought 

ready or not he had to face his fears 

and through a river of tears

explain to those he loved 

that she was who he wanted to be 

it wasn’t for glamour 

 she wasn’t blessed with the figure 

to be model material

she just wanted to live her life her way 

she wasn’t gay or playing dress up 

this was who she was 

the girl who asked Santa Claus 

to make her like mammy 

finally out in the open 

as the river became an ocean 

the waves crashed against the sand 

the road to understanding started 

in a hospital ward where a young nurse painted the nails 

of the aunt she always knew 

but kept secret from family and friends 

and on trend with style advice 

© Gayle Smith 2017 


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