It has been eighteen long years,
since the first wail sounded down the hospital block,
a bit delayed, an umbilical cord around the neck to blame.
It has been eighteen long years,
since I cried myself hoarse,
a dry rasp all that was left of my voice.
It has been sixteen long years,
since I said my first word,
a word which means “light” in my tongue.
It has been fifteen long years,
since I stepped in school the first time,
first friendships, learned how to read,
learned how to write, learned how to love.
It has been eleven long years,
since I received my first award.
On stage, before a crowd of peers and proud parents.
It has been ten long years,
since I tasted sweet victory in competition,
silver medal, but gold for me.

It has been ten long years,
since I first held my six string.
It has been nine long years,
since I first wrote in verse.
Two love stories that lasted longer
than my love for anyone has.
It has been five long years,
since I first saw the darker side of my poetry.
Since I truly bantered with sadness,
a new friend who would cling on to me for the years to come.
It has been eighteen long years,
since the world was introduced to me.
Have I changed?
Of course I have.
But am I still the same?
Of course I am.

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