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Hiding Places and Safe Places

Grown ups have hiding places,
ones where we hide
from ourselves.
The bottom of a bottle
is a traditional favorite.
Toxic relationships are another.
In those, we can just focus
on the “other.”
Conformity is a camouflage
of many different colors:
a club, a church, a cause.
But most popular are
roles or titles:
mother, teacher, CEO,
postman, criminal,
priest or “ho,”
even being gay.
You see, sometime long ago,
we hid our patchwork
selves away.
But a hiding place and a safe place
are not the same.
Safety only comes when we have
nothing left to lose,
are not clinging to any idols,
or hiding behind an image.
Only then, when all else fails,
do we finally explore
the darkness
within.
And coming face to face
with our real selves,
we find God
and peace.

Mirrors

I look into your eyes
to find myself.
I see my cheerful smile
spread to your lips.
I see me giving you
the support and affection
of my friendship.
I see my vibrant image
reflected there
in your admiration
and attraction.
I see myself glow
as you respond
with appreciation
of my wisdom.
Your shining mirror eyes
lavishly affirm me.
Yet, I still hungrily
seek other eyes
to frame these pictures
carefully chosen
to convince me of
my worldly value.
So, I search the many
eyes around me,
but I always only
see myself.