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By Stephanie Moore
Genre: Poetry Level: Elementary 4-6
Year: 2003 Category: Bell Benton Memorial Poetry Award

I keep my paintbrush with me
Wherever I go
In case I need to cover up
So the real me doesn't show.
I'm so afraid to show you
Afraid of what you'll do,
That you might laugh
Or say mean things.
I'm afraid I might lose you.
I'd like to remove
all my paint coats
To show you the real, true me,
But I want you to try and
I need you to accept
what you see.
So if you'll be patient
And close your eyes,
I'll slip off all my coats real slow.
Please understand
how much it hurts
To let the real me show.
Now my coats are all
Stripped off,
I feel naked, bare, and cold.
And if you love me,
With all that you see,
You are my friend,
Pure as gold.
I need to save
my paintbrush, though,
And hold it in my hand,
I want to keep it handy,
In case somebody
doesn't understand.
So, please protect me,
My dear friend,
And thanks for loving me
For the way I am.
About the Author: Stephanie Moore attends Taku Elementary School in Anchorage, AK.

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