Below is the poem entitled A Prisoner Within which was written by poet
Morrison. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.
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My name is John and I just turned seventeen. I don’t look different from
anybody else, but I feel different. I don’t walk or talk different from anybody else,
but I feel different. I go to church and school like everybody else. I socialize in the
same ways, but I feel different. I don’t know why I feel different? I did not make a choice. I did not suddenly decide to feel different. Nobody told me or suggested that I feel this way. I cannot help feeling different. I guess, I am what I am and nothing or no one can change that.
I feel like, I am not one person, but two people. First, there is the John that
everybody knows or thinks they know. The John that is loved by his family. The
John that is well liked at school. The John that always makes the winning shot in the
final seconds of the game.
However, there is also another John. A John that is locked up deep within
me. A John that writhes in the corner of a prison barred not by steel, but by social
perceptions and prejudice. A John that curses his confinement, but cowers in the
corner at the thought of coming out. A John that dreads leaving the security of his
cell because it may mean losing the love and support of his family and friends. A
John that fears the persecution and words of hate that may await him in the world
outside. A John who lives in soul twisting torment caught between what he has to
appear to be to others and what he feels certain is true.
Oh God! how I wish I could be as free as the seagulls that fly over this
great span. I long to be released from this burden that tortures me day after day.
Perhaps this is the only way...God forgive me!