Inspiration struck early this morning driving me from my sleep and directly to my computer. I had no idea what was buzzing in me to get out but I just knew something was there. I settled down in the peace and quiet of a new day in this New Year and opened to a blank page. Immediately I was a witness to what my fingers typed. Words were dictated through me. It was one of those magical moments when I truly felt like a vessel and I was happy to be at least cognizant to realize that what was happening was because of something bigger than me. It is a haunting reveal that has come from somewhere deep and wide. I wasn’t going to post this but then I changed my mind and so here it is:
I hold the key but you hold the door.
Which gets me the freedom I so long for?
The walls around me are made of stone and brick,
I’ve tried to knock them down but still, they’re too thick.
I plead with you and beg you to release me; let me go,
but I fear that I’ve failed to convince you as your silence tells me so.
We did have our memories, our smiles, and our joys,
but you’ve changed, as have I, and I’m no longer your toy.
I bribe you, I beseech you, I cry out your name
but the walls they still hold me, prisoner in this cell of my pain.
One day it comes when I give up and give in.
As I collapse to the floor,
I wonder how much more can I take; will I ever win?
With one last effort I raise up my head
replacing failure and exhaustion with a prayer in its stead.
I lean on the wall from my weakness and pain,
and as I rise slowly, I see each stone has a name.
The names are Crazy and Lazy and Stupid and Slow.
I remember—all these words—I remember, I know.
I stared at the words finding more with each turn.
Each stone, each piece, their insults sting and they burn.
Slowly, I recognized the writing on the walls.
It was me who wrote them, and thus built this here space, my words lining the halls.
Enough! No more! I shouted, my words echoing back
as my fists I pounded out a full-fledged attack.
I found a crack in the wall and dug my fingers in deep;
I pushed and I pulled now fully awake from my sleep.
First one stone then another, soon the sun shone its way in.
I poked my head through the hole finally seeing from the darkness within.
The stones now fell faster breaking free of their walls,
as I pulled and I tugged, opening a hole in these halls.
At last I stepped through and crawled on my knees,
as the birds sang their songs and the sun shone through the trees.
Still dazed and confused, the sweetest air I now breathed,
I didn’t understand any of it, most of all the why me?
I picked up a stone, its carved words read clearly now,
I finally understood at the whys and the whens and most importantly the how.
The room I was in was a prison of my making,
and when I cried out to you it was really me I was forsaking.
I believed in those words of hate, shame, and fear
and I surrounded myself with them, I see it all now so clear.
There was never a door, I didn’t build one you see,
but what I still had that made the difference was in my holding the key.
I was once my own prisoner with my beliefs as my walls,
but I decided right then I’ll never go back to those halls.
I found in me the freedom to use kinder words,
no longer fearing I’d be looked upon as being absurd.
I picked up each stone from my past years’ abode
and threw them far and away from what used to be my home.
The rubble left behind of my dismemberment,
holds no sadness or shame, instead happiness and content.
Onward I walk now with more freedom than I’ve known,
my past will stay past and only good thoughts will I own.
I know as you read this, you saw your story in me,
so remember dear reader, you too, hold your key.