Intruders Beware

By Anna J. Arredondo

Within this adamantine outer shell—
What woes, what worries I’m too proud to tell;
If you but once should tiptoe past this shield,
Sidestep the anger I so fiercely wield
In my defense; if you should break the spell,
Subdue the guards, and dip into the well
Of insecurities therein revealed;
I say, if you could catch me thus unsteeled:
One gentle smile my deepest fears would quell;
One loving glance from you—what hopes would swell—
One touch, and all within me would be healed.
__Instead I growl, “Keep out! That’s all I ask,”
__Then hate you for not seeing past my mask.

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