I am me. I want to remain me.
I am an open book for you to read, but
I do not want to be written in
by the cold cruel uncaring world;
I will write my own lines.
I do not want to be manipulated,
pushed, pulled, dragged towards change
kicking, protesting and screaming.
The book of my life is mine alone
To write, to lend, or even to burn.
I will not conform
I will not re-write me for you
I may choose to revise on my own,
In my own time, for my own reasons
But I am still myself at the core.
Only I know what is best for me.
No one else can ever know me
quite as well as I do.
I respect that you possess
the same rights I claim;
The freedom to change or not change,
The freedom to not be changed.
Who you are belongs to you alone.
I will not interfere,
I only want to observe you
in your native habitat
like some exotic bird
I may never have the chance
to admire again.
And if we should both pass this way
on some long distant future day,
we will not be the same as we were
the first (or any other) time through.
There will be changes to discover in us both;
Our bindings may have become frayed,
yellowed and bent by
dirty thumbs that ripped pages;
and yet, it will all be brand new.
If you choose to let me read you, and to read me -
to sit together by the fire with our stories,
to open our pages and share all that we have been;
And if, in doing so, we both become changed again
it is a beautiful gift.