A raw brutality,
disguised by disillusioned honesty,
sheltering shame, blame,
and unbridled hate,
so that lessons could not be learned
because they lay untouched
within the fire
that consumed me.
This brutality came from within
without compassion,
reserved by me,
just for me,
to punish myself for not being perfect,
for not feeling loved.

The last few years have been more kind.
I see now that the ME deserves more love,
more empathy than those I attempt to serve.

I have become more gentle with myself
because I have found peace
more often
and more quickly
than I have in the past
giving birth to a gentle spirit
that I am willing to share with others.

So I go gentle into the light.
I go gentle into the dark.
My core of strength
is that little brave independent boy,
the “me” I have always been.

The “I” I was then
and the “me” I am now
finally have come together
to make perfect music,
a beautiful harmony,
the perfect child tenor,
and the perfect adult bass,
hard without brutality,
soft without shame.