All those times
through the years
that I didn’t yield
when people tried to show me
how it would be
to my own benefit
to change who I was
how it wouldn’t really be
giving up myself
but merely “growing up”
to occupy a niche
that had had my name on it
before I was even born;
All those pieces of myself
I’ve meticulously
and deliberately chosen
like wildflowers
along the winding roads
of my many travels
and refused to sell
no matter what price
anybody offered;
All the millions of ways
that I am different
from all the rest
that have caused me
and loneliness
under which I bore up
so long as I could
say for certain
I fought to stay
true to my nature

now culminate
and are justified
and are validated
by this moment
when you recognized me
in a single look
before we even met

a lifetime
of choosing to remain
who I am
and not wandering off
is worth it
if only because
whom you call a “pure soul”
is our meeting place:
I’ve been holding the fort
waiting for you
in it
the whole time