My Reality

This is the second week of the month when Culture Box usually does a review on the Month’s History, but we’re making a little exception to share a poem from the last Upscale Poetry Night. It was written by an aspiring dramatist and writer, based on several conversations with affected children she used to counsel, the poem reflects the thoughts and unspoken voices throughout the country.

I hope it touches you. For the people out there who constantly joke around with the epidemic just know that HIV can affect you in so many different ways, HIV has no face or no preference so stop the discrimination.

My Reality – Shaunee Thompson

Listen to my story for I pray it brings you closer to me,
Listen to my reality for I have HIV,
This is something I have inside that I have to hide,
Listen to how I feel because it  could help me heal.
There are so many things I want to say but I don’t know the way,
I have so much to reveal that only love can heal,
Listen to my reality for I have HIV,
But I am still me.
I was born with this, yes it’s true and I would not wish it on you,
But it does not make me less human than you,
For I have two eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth,
I eat, sleep and breathe the way you do, is this not true?
I have a voice that should be heard,
People should listen to my every word,
I have emotions that people often trample on,
I have a heart that is often torn apart.
I have a soul that is slowly becoming cold,
Because of how I’m treated
I am slowly feeling defeated.
I have been shunned, spat on and hated for what I have inside,
So I have to hide,
People don’t like me because of my story,
Children at school wouldn’t play with me
The parents look at me with scorn,
I always feel so wrong.
I cry myself to sleep at nights,
Most days I just wish I could die.
I hurt, I cry, I feel
When all I want to do is heal.
I want them to listen to me.
This is how I am and how I will stay,
My HIV is not going away,
I am here and I need you to care,
I know I can be what God wants me to be so please listen to me.
Please love me the way you would love a normal child even if it it’s for a while,
Please accept me for who I am and not what I have,
For this is my reality, I have HIV
But I am still me.

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