In my shyness . . . At times I retreat to my "shell," Clinging to the security of being alone. In my shyness . . . I may attempt to merge with my surroundings-- To be ignored, unnoticed, a silent voice rarely heard. In my shyness . . . I can feel completely alone, Although surrounded by people. In my shyness . . . I'm perceived as having a padlocked soul, And few try to gain entry into my realm. In my shyness . . . Few will dare venture to really know me, To hear my quiet voice or to really try to understand. In my shyness . . . I can have a myriad of words to say, Yet, my sealed lips will not release them. In my shyness . . . The words I do speak will at times be jumbled, And I'll feel worse for having spoken them. In my shyness . . . I will be viewed as "stuck up" and unfriendly, Labeled by the presumption of a troubled past. Yet, despite my shyness . . . I will at times emerge from my "shell," And you may catch a glimpse of who I am. And despite my shyness . . . I may put on a good "front," Disguising my innermost insecurities. Despite my shyness . . . A select few will manage to penetrate these "walls," With the sharing of time and the evolving of trust. My shyness . . . Frequently unrecognized, seldom understood-- A shackle, a veil, a haven.