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I chose to be soft, when I could have just chose to be myself.

I’ve always been obsessed with button poetry, or slam poetry, as a guilty pleasure. I can remember watching Neil Hillborn reading “OCD” and being so completely moved by his choice of words and how strongly he had made me feel in only three minutes. I always envisioned myself, one day stepping outside of my poetry shame and taking a stage, making an audience feel the same way. But man, the courage it must take to be raw and vulnerable in those ways in front of that many people.

One day I hope I will find the courage, but until then here is a rough draft of a poem I wrote until I do.

It’s called, I chose to be soft. 

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I prefer the ocean, you preferred the mountains.

Simple, yet, contrasting.


For the first time since my heart was bruised for the first time,

I chose to be soft.

I let my fraying seams unravel as he pulled at every loose thread.

I thought he’d sow me into someone new at the end. 

He never did.

I let the beauty of vulnerability overshadow the reality that

people don’t always mean the things they say.


When I chose to be soft,

I chose the probability of being hurt.

And of course,

love will always be worth the pain of heartache,

but when we are fully immersed in adoration, 

we forget the existence of the probability itself.


When I chose to be soft,

I didn’t necessarily bet against myself, 


I did refuse credit where it was rightfully due.


Being soft is wonderful in the terms of,

your words

your optimism

your view of the world around you.

It will never be a crime to be gentle, patient, nor to love someone too hard. 



you don’t have to melt into his very edges,

and remold all of your own until they’re rounded at every corner

to be loved. 

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The sun never apologizes for burning too hot or bright,

it just keeps all beneath its light warm.

The waves never apologize for crashing into our shores,

not even when they leave a path of destruction in their wake. 

For the ocean still provides the oxygen for the very air we breathe,

so it pays no mind to the broken shoreline.


I chose to be soft,

when instead, I could have just chosen to be myself.

An unapologetic, 

force to be reckoned with.

One who will never dull her sense so you can

feel a little better,

see a little clearer, through borrowed eyes. 


I’m done apologizing for my waves.

Move to the mountains. 



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Howdy, howdy! I am Addison Haynes, I am a senior at the University of Kansas where I study Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology and Business Administration on a Pre-Law track. I come from a small town outside of St. Louis known as Dardenne Prairie, where I grew up with two awesome siblings. Currently, I work as a part time Undergraduate Legal Assistant, and intend to pursue law school when I graduate! Writing has always been my biggest passion and the thing I find the most comfort in doing.
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