Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Elephant Man and The Homecoming Queen

The Elephant Man attracts attention

He’s quite the rage as long as he stays in a cage
Or up on a stage
Barriers and Distance
Separate, isolate, and exploitate

The people who stare at him glare at him
Voyeuristic, morbid fascination and loathing
Yet, they cannot see what he desperately needs

Human touch
A kind word

Acknowledging his humanity
Could save him from insanity

The Elephant Man has a soul
A heart hidden beneath layers of grotesque flesh
Contorted, seized by disease
Subhuman, inhuman

His intellect
His emotional capacity
All too human
The need for love, fellowship and family

The soul is not the flesh, a thing of beauty
But pale in a spirit way
Because the flesh shelters the soul from warmth

The Elephant Man shivers in the dark night
Waiting for the dawn of a new day
Hoping a gentle spirit will bother to see
How he could really be

The Homecoming Queen attracts attention

She checks her hair
Staring at a blemish, an eruption of imperfection
Reflected in the cold glass

She moves away
Distance conceals it
She buries the blemish with make-up
Knowing she can’t make up for the hole she feels in her soul

Upon a pedestal she has no room to move
Walking on a balance beam
Lifted up for all the world to see and admire
She can’t even perspire or stumble
She has too far to fall

But that’s not all
She’s well aware of jealous sneers
Concealed in smiles
Revealed by teeth bared, lips stretched

They want to be like her
But they don’t know the price
Perhaps they’d think twice
If they knew how lonely she feels

People won’t stand next to someone
So perfect, so pure, so demure
Except to use her to make themselves look better

She walks a narrow path
Unable to unfetter her true desires

The Elephant Man and The Homecoming Queen
Can’t wait to be seen as they truly are

Sitting in the gym, lights flashing
The music, the rhythm
They watch others dancing and touching, together
Wondering whether or not someone might invite them
Into the mainstream of life
Into the community
To feel the unity of souls

The Homecoming Queen saw the Elephant Man sitting alone
She saw him breathe, a moan, a heavy sigh
Wondering why he couldn't ask her to dance

The Elephant Man saw The Homecoming Queen
Looking at him from across the room
Even she, the perfect one, couldn't keep from staring

They got a glimpse
Kindred souls bound by loneliness
Lacking the courage to take another step
Unable to break the bond that unites them like no others

They dance the dance of loneliness
Alone with each other

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