What is Pride?

What is pride?
Is it the opposite of shame?
Is it living with yourself
and not distributing blame?

Do you wake up in the morning
and love the one you see
staring back from the mirror
yearning to be free?

Is it the smile on your face
or the gesture small or grand?
Is it the love for self
and the love for fellow man?

One thing I can see
is that it’s not parades and flags;
it’s also not some white men
complaining about those fags.

It’s what is in your soul
and the product you create.
It’s in the love you give,
but it’s never in the hate.

© Autumn Siders 2019


I still think about it sometimes,
the day I was fired.
The owners had just cause
or so you said.
I was a kid,
you just didn’t like me.
What was it you said
I said?
“I hate gays.”
Then I threatened you
with a scissors,
not the knife
I always carry
because I know
what it’s like
to be a hated gay.
A word I learned
as I came out of the closet.
I learned in college.
I learned at Pride.
I learned in heartbreak.
I learned with the shock waves
of Orlando.
I learned through history:
The Stonewall Inn
The Up Stairs Lounge
Matthew Shepard
Rebecca Wight
Brandon Teena,
the list,
goes on.

I was working two jobs
to support my family.
I left, enraged.
Our boss,
Maybe because
so many acts of ill-will
against our family
come from the outside,
she never expected one
from within.
Were those tears
for me?
The wrongly accused.
Were those tears for you?
Such claims had to believed
even when they seemed
Were those tears for her?
Because she believed.
Because she didn’t believe.

the details don’t matter.
What’s done is done
and there’s no going back.
What weighs in my mind
and in my heart
is how many others
suffered your wrath?
What led you down this path
to stab your own family
in the back?
How can we expect respect
from those who don’t understand
when we can’t even
respect each other?
There are enough people
holding us down,
quieting our voices,
telling us we are wrong.
Shouldn’t we support
those we call family?

© AUtumn Siders 2018

Brush Off

Hey! I thought that was you.
How about a coffee?
Maybe two?

Hey! I’ve been meaning to call.
It’s just, well you know,
life and all.

No worries, I get it.
Are you busy tonight?

No, not really,
but I’ve got an early flight.

I hear ya,
don’t worry,
perhaps another

I’ll see ya,
when our love,
isn’t a crime.

© Autumn Siders 2018

If I Don’t Make it Home

I am not one to preface my work with an explanation and I have never believed good poetry needs one. Today though, I feel as though this work stands stronger with the explanation of how it came to be. As I was leaving the house this morning, a day in which the 45th president of the United States will be sworn into office, I thought to myself, is there anything you should say to your loved ones before you leave today?

It shocked me that this thought entered my mind and I pictured the words rolling out of my mouth, “If I don’t make it home…” Are there any secrets that I should share? Are there any unresolved feelings? Is there something that would make my loved ones unable to feel closure after I am gone? Also, why the hell would I think this?

We are not just stepping into a new country today, we are stepping into a new world. Every action made today impacts the globe; the politics of one country affect everyone on this planet. One tweet from our new president could cause a war, both within our country and against it. More importantly, our actions can also be heard ’round the world.

You may support the soon-to-be President Trump. You may despise him. But remember, he ran a campaign on hatred. Move forward with positivity whether he is your president or not. Life is made of choices, make sure you make ones with which you can live. These words come from both the New Testament (Ephesians 4:32) and Ellen, so whichever you choose to acknowledge please take them to heart. Be kind to one another.

Without further ado, the poem you’ve been waiting for:

If I don’t make it home,

there are a few things you should know.

I’ve hidden money in our spot

in case I had to go.

My favorite memory of life

is the day you stole my heart

which would have been second

to the family we hoped to start.

Please know I didn’t want this,

as the choice was not mine to make;

my choice is always you

it’s another’s choice to take.

The press will say it’s all your fault,

but believe me, it’s just not true.

Hatred claimed my life that day,

not my love for you.

© Autumn Siders 2017