Damn It!

Sat in on my first poetry reading today.
Since college, that is.
Of course, I sat in the back.
Scared to death for all Poets.
Only fifteen of them.
The African American was phenomenal.
His deep voice calling me in.
As if saying, Audrey, join them.
Open mic, yes, it was time.
Nerves shot, don’t call for mine.
No one forced.
Each one took a turn.
Audrey clapped.
Audrey laughed.
Audrey shed her tears.
Show them who you are, darling.
I whispered to myself.
My voice already shaking.
Lack of confidence, maybe.
But I’ll do anything in full view.
Play a part.
Smile my smile.
Sing a song.
Laugh til it drives you wild.
Share myself?
My poetry?
My soul?
Who I am?
I just couldn’t.
I didn’t.
Leaving again.
Damn it!