By Bob Houghtaling

Love and its expression is key to the human experience. All too often who we choose to share love with is scrutinized and castigated. My poem “Just Like Me” (below) is my attempt to say how much alike we all are while also cherishing our uniqueness. Let us be kind to love. Let us be kind to understanding. Finally, let us be kind to those who are marginalized for their choices regarding relationships. We all can use a little more love and understanding.

Just Like Me

I sat all alone

Feeling the shame
That can only come
When they all know your name

Together as children
We played on the swings
Imagined many adventures
That promised great things

But I always felt different
Though so much alike
Your road it was straight
Mine became a long hike

My choices for love
And modes of expression
Were not once designed
To bring forth depression

You might think it strange
That my path has strayed
From society’s conventions
It’s the way I was made

It’s hard to explain
That there is nothing to fear
While most people listen
Some simply won’t hear

New friends have arrived
A few old ones are gone
As I’ve gained acceptance
My soul’s been reborn

I’ve flown to high places
Found peace deep within
And have come to discover
That Love’s not a sin

After all has been done
One thing always rings true
We have much more in common
I am just like you