Is It Allowed

to be so happy without working for it?
I am not suffering anymore.
I made no great success, settled no great score.
I am just me at last, without performance.

You get it, who have struggled with conformance.
If you can keep the yoke, you can have some prizes.
But they all require you keep up disguises.
Father, if masks free men to tell the truth,
why did they cage me in my youth?

I hardly knew myself when I was acting,
replacing every wretched role with new refracting.
All one wants at that age is to see,
to speak and move invisibly,
observing, not unnerving—to become deserving.

It’s shocking when I hear younger friends now,
how much their insecurities were mine. They don’t allow,
without insistence, that this too is age,
the role you can’t leave though you move about the stage.

That it is always the case
we think we are lost
and must pay a heavy cost
just to live
until Time fluffs his feathers, taps with an olive
on the screen-door of the soul
saying “You must let me in now. You are whole.”