When I was in middle school and high school, I wrote a lot of poetry. I have binders full of them in a storage bin somewhere. It was full of teenage angst, depressing words from a white middle-class privileged girl about the pointlessness of life. But it was an outlet, and I was proud of it. I even won a contest in a local newspaper once. As an adult, I’ve come back to poetry now and again, but not in the same driven way. Looking back, I don’t know if I’d say that I was actually ever a talented writer, but I never needed to be. It wasn’t for anyone else. So, I’m putting my self-criticism aside, and sharing something I wrote just three years ago, in a place filled with a volatile mixture of darkness and hope.

A critical battle to fight with limited weapons,
A war I am simultaneously convinced I can win
And sure I am destined to lose.
The melody of love or the low bass of comfort,
A soft cleansing rain turned into a reckless storm,
A world of possibility hidden under a brutal reality.

Something so full must surely have a leak
Something so strong must eventually turn weak.

It’s a ray of sunshine and a choking shadow,
A heart full of hope dusted with an empty doubt,
My greatest victory undone by my worst defeat,
The biggest smile followed by the smallest disbelief,
An endless ambition stunted by a crippling fear,
The warmest hug disturbed by the coldest stare.

A constant duality with an unrelenting grip
A past and a future blurring my vision
A candle blown out by an unreasonable wish
And a rainbow outdone by the darkest clouds.

If the worry doesn’t kill me,
The wonder still will.
If the truth can save me,
I will grow stronger still.

Until I resolve this aching duality
I fight the good fight and keep my head held high.
Until I patch these holes in my soul,
I’ll do what I must just to get by.

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