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Layla Sisson

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.

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