I read a poem of mine in front of a bunch of people in a hot yoga studio three days earlier, and oh man, that was nerve-wracking. It was completely different than when I had to do a speech about my photography a year earlier at Miss MHS, a pageant for seniors at my high school. That was basically improvised even though I had written out speech cards, but I didn’t use them on stage. I admitted that I trespassed several times and the mayor of the town was there, along with other “important” people. But reading something I wrote is 5000 times more personal and close to my heart.
This poem was called Sonorous, and it was about my experience being hard of hearing. The editors of the school’s lit mag kind of fudged up my ending, but it’s okay. I didn’t think it was the best I’ve ever written, but my poetry teacher disagreed. I have a different one that I absolutely love, and I hope to get that one published someday. Anyways, my fiction teacher asked me if I wanted to read it aloud. I hesitated but decided to do it. Why not, I’m sure I’ll have to do it again.
Maybe because it was about an issue that’s been with me since I was born, but I was terrified to read it. Saying it felt surreal. I nearly blacked out for a moment. I stumbled on saying “debilitation” and started seeing spots, the kind I had after the fitnessgram pacer in sixth grade (those fitnessgrams were ridiculous, by the way). The second I realized I messed up, I could hear my breathing, I wanted to run away. I started panicking and I was barely a third in. I quickly finished and sat down.
Luckily, the saving grace of the night was that a student composer’s final was to take my poem and make it into some kind of a musical arrangement. His orchestra number was after I finished reading and it was so cool. There were some choir students who sang in an opera voice and I was blown away. My words gave inspiration to someone else. It made my night a lot better.