Nervously I stand here
trembling, sweating, thinking;
as if there were water underneath me, I fear
I'm dying, drowning, sinking.
Barely breathing this room's thin air,
it feels like the walls are closing, moving,
as I look back at the crowd's penetrating stare
and feel like quitting, running, hiding.
I came to carry out the simple task
of reading these lines that I wrote.
Though written from the heart, I ask:
why is it that I choke?
For a while I pondered wearing a mask
then wondered if, upon seeing it,
you'd take me for a joke.
My concern is not whether you like me
while I'm standing here today
exposing my heart for you all to see;
rather, it's that you understand what I have to say.
I need not a standing ovation,
though I'd love a cheer or two.
For while this may be no grand occasion,
it is, after all, my debut.