Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

I attended a drama camp, and while their, we prepared a presentation of this poem for our teachers. I found it very honest, and hopeful. **Note: this is an abridged copy...sorry.**

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's a second nature to me,
but don't be fooled.
For God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that confidence is my name and coolness is my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me.
My surface my seem smooth but my surface
is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies confusion and fear and aloneness.
But this I hide. I don't want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade, to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation.
My only hope, and I know it.

I want to be genuine and spontaneuous and me,
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
The bland stare of the living dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.

Each time you're kind and gentle and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
You can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
-Author Unknown