My First Ever Spoken Word Performance

I was always the shy kid who had trouble speaking in front of the class. So, I challenged myself to try spoken word. This was my first ever performance. I was shaking like a leaf. If you notice, I was shuffling my prompt cards automatically, but didn’t use them once!

I am no speaker. You see, I am an introvert.
But today, I want to assert myself and share my story.
In 92 I was born across the seas, a blank slate,
Perhaps with predisposed personality traits.
At eight weeks old, I was given up. I don’t know why they didn’t want me.
But I was blessed with adoption, new parents from a foreign country.

Australia, the land of new beginnings. Life was looking good.
I started out filled with hopes and dreams, just like every child should.
Then came school, and kids were cruel.
Because of my color, I was different. And different was bad.
The emotional pain may have been the cause of my inner retreat,
Away from the names and the teacher who believed
That the dreams of a dark girl could never be achieved.
I worked hard to mask the outward flaws that condemned me to be inferior
Always wondering why they couldn’t see, I am more than my exterior.

My father was kind to everyone, except my mother and I.
Emotional abuse left no scars outside, but inside, I wanted to die.
I have learned that depression is not weakness, but it takes strength to go on
When the future seems empty and dark and you can’t find a place to belong.

Cancer took my mother when I was 16, and part of me died that day.
There was nothing in the world that could take the pain away.
I have learned that grief does not heal with time,
But like a tidal wave it overtakes you.
Each surge of memory breaking your heart just a little bit more in its wake.
But even tsunamis have an end. So, I ride every wave as it comes,
Knowing that this too shall pass, and I can rest while waiting for the next one.

I have learned that the most beautiful stories can come from the depths of despair.
Stories of strength, love, and kindness. These stories were meant to be shared.
In anonymity I wrote my poetry, and envied those that had the ability,
To share their conceptions through spoken word,
To stand up here and be heard,
To put their name to their verse, unashamed,
And to leave the audience stirred.

So, no, I am not a speaker, but today, I am making a start,
By standing up here before you and sharing these things from my heart.

This video was taken by the Border Mail and uploaded with their permission. The original link can be found here.

– Lari

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