In my shoes

There have been times

in my life

when people have judged me


or spoken badly of me

because they never took the time

to ask me

my point of view,

they never tried to understand

what life is like for me



I was just an easy target

for the hatred

that they had to offload

onto another hurt person

so they didn’t have to feel it


Either way

I got hurt.

So here are my shoes.

Before you judge me

or speak ill of me

put them on,

fasten them tight

and walk a mile with me.




Finally, in you,

I have found all of my anger

from a lifetime of abuse

and intimidation,

you have given it a face and a name.

I have nurtured the spark carefully

and fanned the flame.

I have protected it from

the cold winds of my fear

and the quiet rain of my tears

and so it grew strong.

The more you try to oppress me

the stronger you make me,

You are teaching me

and I am a willing pupil.

I learn from every raging storm

you hurl at me.

I am not afraid of you

and I will fight you

till you run from me knowing

how small and helpless

you really are behind

the bully’s mask.

Never again

will I let anyone treat me

with anything less than dignity

and respect.