Performance Anxiety

A poem I wrote to describe how I feel before I perform onstage.


Hours to go

My body jitters


My brain is filled with unrest

My heart pounds in my chest

I thrum with nervous energy

My stomach churns anxiously


Minutes to go

I am barely in the room


I speak without saying

Look without seeing

I listen without hearing

Drink without tasting


Seconds to go

The only way out is through


The announcer calls my name

And the moment is mine to claim

As the crowd begins to applaud

I ignore the voice calling me a fraud




As I call out “Ladies and gentlemen …”

I rise on a tide of adrenaline

The fear is still there

But I will not despair


This fear is mine, I claim it

Nervous energy floods me, I use it

It stands beside me, an old friend

As the world whirls, and emotions blend


I am home

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