The first time I stood on stage,
And there was a roaring applause,
The actors took their final bow,
While I stood behind the curtain -
I was a prompter, and then an extra,
And then in charge of the lights,
And then the sounds,
So I moved to the wings from the backstage,
But I never made it far enough to find the spotlight.
In college, when there was a protest,
I stood in a faceless crowd raising slogans,
Being part of a revolution that was bigger than myself,
But when the news came, they named the leaders,
And the rest of us were just the mob.
Sure, they brought the revolution, but they didn’t give birth to it,
We carried it in our bloody wombs,
And fed it with our time and sweat,
And when time came, and our surrogacy ended,
Handed it over, to its rightful owners.
In group photos, I was always at the corner,
Hiding behind taller, prettier people,
Hiding behind wide smiles and candid faces,
Not knowing what to do with my awkward hands,
Not sure if my freckles showed, or the scars they’d left behind,
Not sure if my nervous grin counted, in the first place.
I just hoped that nobody would find me,
Unless they were really looking for me,
But they never looked.
On 14th February, I sent him a card,
With courage I had painfully collected,
Over the last fourteen months,
As I crossed him in hallways, and stared across classrooms.
My confession a softly, carefully, worded sonnet,
That I didn’t sign off, because I was too scared,
That his friends made fun of,
And so he folded into a paper plane,
And sent it flying outside the window,
And it landed in the mud, with my feelings,
A little exposed, and hurt from the fall,
But mostly just ignored.
I rescued a kitten, once,
And fed her with my hands,
She slept like a little black cloud,
Next to my head,
And my dreams were pleasant,
Covered in her fur,
And I thought that maybe, just maybe, she loved me,
She knew me, she cared for who I was.
But when she grew up,
And no longer needed rescuing,
She left, and never turned back,
The love of a cat, is a rare gift indeed,
Which I had perhaps done nothing to deserve,
And thus all I was, was a hand that fed her,
That she forgot, when she outgrew that need.
In a world of six billion people, where everyone tries,
So hard to be a somebody, and ends up being a nobody,
I made peace with being anybody.
You couldn’t hurt me, if you didn’t know who I was,
You couldn’t judge me, if you didn’t know who I was,
I’d be an idea, and ideas are bulletproof, they say.
So I’ll choose to be the forgotten spark, that lights the fire,
But never enjoys the warmth of the flames,
So I’ll choose to be the unnamed foot soldiers, who wage your wars for you,
But are remembered only and only when they’re martyred.
After all, for most of history, Anonymous was a woman,
Just like me, or them, or even you.

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