My Poem~ “Goodbye”
by Max Tucker
Spoken aloud as public testimony at the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force and Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Deaf Blind Town Hall Meeting on December 5, 2019
Do you not understand?
Or do you not care in order to understand?
Or do you not know how to practice empathy
and compassion in order to understand?
What part do you not understand?
Is it everything?
Or do you not know?
Let me tell you something about myself.
I don’t trust a lot of people
Yet not knowing them well enough
I don’t trust their words and behavior
I can have a hard time trusting their intentions too
I have been excluded
I have been prejudiced
I have been overlooked
I have my heart played with
I have been othered
I have been lonely.
I have been frustrated.
I have been furious.
I have always relied on myself
I have always had this complex smile on my face,
although people don’t understand that it’s not a
possibility that I’m going to always be happy.
I know myself a lot better than anyone else does
And all I hear is despicable lies going through my
implanted ears and that triggers my brain.
If people don’t understand,
then the last thing that I wouldn’t
allow myself to see is people leading me on.
What am I, some kind of doll?
What am I, a back up?
What am I, a naive person?
What am I, a pushover?
What am I, a child?
Well, I am done with everything.
I am not angry
I am not sad
I am just tired
Just plain tired
I am tired to listening
to other people’s perspectives
I am tired of people “correcting me”
I am tired of reading some people’s
solid expressions on their faces
I am tired of the stupid stereotypes
I am tired of people defining me
I am tired of people acting like they’re
always righteous and superior
I am tired of myself feeling negative
I am tired of being promised
I am tired of disappointing myself
And being utterly disappointed in this world
I am tired of drama, exclusion or anything else.
I am not clueless
Just because I’m deaf doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read, damn it.
I am not just reading people’s lips.
I can read their body language, expressions and my surroundings.
And I can read myself.
So I’m a lot smarter than some people thought.
And I don’t need proof
So I don’t care
It’s not like I’m in a court case anyway
So better keep that in mind.
I don’t care about anything anymore
I am only looking out for myself from now on.
And I will always do that.
I don’t care about anyone’s reactions or words anymore.
At least I’m trying not to
So be careful
Because that’s the conclusion and that’s final
I win in my life
And now that things are looking up,
I hope to keep that attitude forever.
Because if I’m not happy, then I will change things or cut ties off
with toxic people if that’s the reason.
I will always look out for myself
Even if the truth hurts
So the last thing to end this that I would say is that I don’t care about anything anymore
I am putting myself first