I Am

I Am

I am not my illnesses.
I am not what happened to me.

I am the smiling soul that I feel
in the moments where I feel free.

I am not the things I like.
I am not the things I love.

I am not what I say when I’m angry.
I am not what I say when I’m sad.
I am not what I say when drunk.

I am not how I feel.
I am not my pain.

I am not the expectations of my family.
I am not the expectations of my friends.

I am not the expectations of my community.
I am not the expectations of my employers.

I am not the expectations of society.

I am human. I am imperfect.

I expect nothing of myself except to be kind.

I am me.

And that is all I can ever hope to be.

Flaws and all, I choose to still stand tall,
even as the winds of life try to blow me down,
and I cry out to whoever will listen to such sounds.

I can choose to cling to joy and hope right now.

I can choose to wear a smile and not a frown.

I can choose to cry when I need to let it out.

I can choose to laugh instead of shout.

But I know sometimes, it’s just best to feel
even when all you feel is down
with the mask of a clown.

Because clouds, as they do,
will pass over me and you.

A better tomorrow is waiting, too.

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang of Vallejo, CA is the author of nine poetry collections, including 2016's Poet Loiterer which Kirkus Reviews described as containing "Free-spirited ideals couched in fairly infectious rhymes." She enjoys performing her poems at open mics and entering them in county fairs.