We knew not one another,
Yet over time, you became my sister,
You became my brother.

We opened our hearts,
We opened our souls.
Mere pieces alone,
Together we are whole.

Vulnerable, so it would seem,
Yet we shared our hopes,
We shared our dreams.
With just whom do we dare to speak such truth?
A hidden past, dating back to our youth.

What makes a family? What makes a tribe?
I know not the answer to either question.
I hope only that I am headed in the right direction.

I stand before you a man with pride.
I stand before you a man with much to hide.
I hear your stories, I share your pain.
You are not alone, You have no need to feel shame.

I do not question. I do not judge.
I stand before you. I will stand beside you.
I fear no more. I am not alone.
I have found peace. I have found my home.
It is not a place. No walls define its space.
It is limitless. It is not me.
It is not you. It is us.

My friends, My family, My tribe.
Name the time, Name the place.
It matters not when or where,
Call my name and I will be there.

Brad Ryder