“I once met a man who had walked on the moon.”
That’s the start of an essay, and I’m not immune
to its essence, explaining how, for many writers,
“Imposter Syndrome” makes us feel like outsiders.
I’m sure this is true for whatever you do;
there may be exceptions, but probably few.
I don’t belong here as an author of verse,
but I’ll keep on writing, for better (and worse)—
or maybe I do, though I don’t feel that way.
I’m used to it now; happens most every day.
The greatest among us is also the least
in some way or other and though we all feast
on these gifts, they’re not evenly spread ’midst our bones
nor ’posited equally throughout all zones.
It seems that some people get more than fair share
while most of us feel we’re left out as an heir.
But each has some talent, so seek what’s inside.
Let’s use them to complement, not to divide.
When someone amazing encounters your space,
don’t run off and hide in your reticent place.
Consider they, too, may have some fear of you,
feeling they don’t belong—they can’t do what you do!
We’re in this together. Let’s give it our best;
even though we’re all different, we’re all like the rest.
Note: Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s comments, shared on Facebook by Aerogramme Writers’ Studio, about his encounter with Neil Armstrong at an event where the astronaut felt like he didn’t belong in a group teaming with “artists and scientists, writers and discoverers.”
Ken Gosse prefers writing short, rhymed verse with traditional meter, usually filled with whimsy and humor. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, his poems are also in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, Home Planet News Online, Eclectica, and other publications. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, over twenty years.