He wanted to tell the truth

But it frightened him

They frightened him

The faces

And the voices

That would never comprehend.

The way water slips through

Your hands,

He let thoughts

Drip all the way down

To the ground

Out of sight of those whose gazes

Set mazes before the ways

He wanted to go

Like fences erected

Motives inspected

By minds that never understood

Where he stood

In the first place.

“Sit down,”

He thought

And the thinking

Brought overthinking

And a sigh filled with regret

For what he could not do,

What no one knew he could


For the necessary rhythms

He had to walk over

And out to complete the tune.

The moment came

Like it had before

When he needed to live

Felt the desire to explore

But not just explore

Like he had before

This time with courage

And a sense of pride

And the fire that being alive


Lit inside his mind,

The will and the passion

To thrive

Not only survive.

“Survival is a ruse,”

He thought.

“What I need is a muse,”

He thought.

And he found one

On the other side of town

Where no one knew him—

Okay, he had to face it,

No one knew him here



But not quite alone

He felt his purpose grow

Out of their sight

Into the night

Where the we’s gather

Whose names and faces

Are all they would ever see.

A moment came

When the expectations—

And his name—

Fell to the floor

Shattered in pieces

Exposing the core

Of what he was

And was not

And all he forgot,

The rules and the fuel

Like kerosene,

That he wanted to lead the way


But not today.

Today, he wanted something


And only his

Where the passion rang true

And the choosing was

Easy to choose

Because of


Her misunderstood was clear

To him

And no longer something

For her to fear

Because he brought her near

And saw what she needed


To see and to hear

This is where he could sigh

Let his armor fly

Where she could smile

And dance

Like a child

In the midst of a world

Still unchanged

But new

Because what used to be one

And one

Became two

And all they knew

Was the truth.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Mark Slavin’s piece, A Man and His Ego, 50 x 35,5 cm, Watercolor (only black) on Torchon paper.  Please feel free to further explore Mark’s art on his website and/or Facebook page: Mark’s Website ,  Mark’s Facebook Page)