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Trouble lies in feeling proud.
I was taught that it’s a sin
and that I shouldn’t share aloud

some gift with which I was endowed.
My gloating crow and Cheshire grin
burst that bubble, feeling proud.

Bragging rights? No one was wowed;
I lost those friends. I couldn’t win.
Better not to share aloud,

deflect my gifts amid the crowd.
But self-effacement wears me thin.
It’s trouble—a lie—to not feel proud.

There’s joy in peeking through a cloud
and beaming, now and then, to kin.
I can choose to share aloud

a well-earned pride to those avowed
by ties of birth or love within
and double down on feeling proud.
It’s blissful sin to share aloud.

—Barbara Lydecker Crane