I stand in front of the class, in front of their laughing faces,
I stand here, caught up in my own mind, the worst of places.
I gaze upon each one of their judgemental expressions,
Okay, so maybe they aren’t judging me but I can’t help my impressions.
The teacher tells me "Whenever you’re ready",
But how do I tell her that I never will be?
How do I explain the churning in my stomach when I’m told to speak,
How do I begin to unpack the way my hands tremble and my knees go weak..?
My "friends" will tell me to chill, say I’m just doing the most,
They’ll never understand that I feel hollow, of my own body I am not the host.
They’ll tell me I’m overreacting and just being dramatic,
They don’t know that every stutter I utter is traumatic.
This environment of which I am the product, this student-teacher dynamic,
Every bit of it sends me into a panic.
I cannot explain why I’m unable to speak to these 20 people about civil wars, limericks or whatever it may be,
I feel dread and fear and intense anxiety yet, "attention seeker" is all that they see.
So, you’ll ask me again if I’m excited to go back, face the students the staff,
And forgive me if I hold back a laugh,
Because the answer will always be no, but I can’t say that can I?
So the answer will always end up being:
"I guess, I don’t know. Why?"