Persona (or, 'I' Is Not 'Me')

Presume the poem's
"I" is me
and lose all meanings

Perceive instead
"the Speaker's voice,"
and that should prove
your wiser choice:

a character
who breathes each line
- hers, or his, or its,
not mine -

who has a life,
a world, a mind,
an individual

beyond a poem's
widths or heights
- persona with
a soul, and rights,

entitled to
some self-respect,
as anyone
would well expect.

"I" thank you for
regarding "me,"
said Narrator of
this story.

Persona (or, 'I' Is Not 'Me') © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

Assumptions - prompt challenge link:
Submitted: May 14, 2019