There was a place I once would hide
Because I was too scared to confide
In the people that I knew
But deep down in my chest
I knew I’d soon need to confess
Or I’d never love anew
I sat in that closet
As a voice I bounced around my head
Echoing through my skull
As dull light came in through the cracks
And dread sunk into my chest
I looked around the darkness for a question nobody should ever need to ask:
“Is loving who I want to love bad?”
And I listened through the cracks in the door
And slowly I felt more and more doubt about
Who I really was.
I heard the things people would say about
someone who came out as gay
and I decided to hide away a little longer.
I heard protests against love, wishes of death amongst
Claims that a God above would shun someone
because they do not love the same
As time went on, I matured and grew
I heard people with a new view
Embracing differences with open arms
And the light began to shine through
I found the lock.
I took a deep breath.
And I opened the door.
I looked back at the space that
I let confine me for so many years
as happy tears threatened to fall
And with that, I closed the door.
And didn’t look back. At all.
Layla Sisson is fourteen years old and attends Manatee School for the Arts. “Closet” received an Honorable Mention in the Manatee Libraries and 805 Teen Poetry Contest.