Knock, knock: a stranger at the door,
Selling a dictionary, collecting for charity.
Nervous shuffle, nails digging into palm
As I open a window, heart pounding,
Make excuses, and rush to solitary calm.
“Hello, good morning!”- group of people on a stairwell,
Friendly hugs and inside jokes, warm reception and easy smiles.
High-pitched chuckle and act of boldness,
Loud opinion and apparent coolness,
I hug and celebrate with greater people,
Laugh, and briskly walk home.
Ring of a phone: Picture of a person.
Wider eyes and sweatier palms
As it rings and rings,
Breath of relief as the blaring ends.
Sharp croak of crickets in still night:
Racing thoughts of missteps past
Ill-fitting skin, rough sheets,
Tossing and turning till daybreak.
“You must believe me, I’m not just troubled!”
I can’t help running away,
Quiet night or busy day.
Everywhere, these people stare,
Pretend they do not scoff and
Judge and criticise, as if I’m not aware.
Stranger, friend or imaginary creature,
I wish I just did not care.