The Aftermath of Standing Still

by Elizabeth   Aug 6, 2019


Some people are power washers.
Some people are chainsaws
And some people just plain don't believe in magic.

I've bit back screams that taste like no
And it tasted mortal and flimsy
And weak and weak and
Weak.

I've whispered it to pillows and empty rooms
Hot air before rain and rain
And whispered it for hours of rain
And when that rain had rained itself
Into a cold damp night
I whispered it to puddles pooling
In the dark where wild animals
Didn't pay any more attention to my no than that boy-
Don't lecture me on the magic of no.

I want to say there's some sort of justice out there waiting for me
But I've got an earful of flashbacks
A stomach full of insecurities
Two hands full of regret
And I'm knee deep-and-sinking in guilt.
So what am I supposed to do with all the rage I can't carry?
Where do I find space for happiness and did I really lose it all making room for hate?

I let my life be a constructive outlet for rage for far too long.
I let it eat me up inside and grow into a fear of standing still.
This is an apology for all of the toes I stepped on running out of there.

These days the rage has matured into a habit
Of overreacting to inconvenience
And taking life too seriously.
It took me too long to realize that settling down
Doesn't have to mean settling for anything.
I can live and love at the same time
And when the fear and anger rear their ugly heads
I have a shoulder to lean into
And a hand to steady my own.

It's been seven years since I stood up
And used the word no
And meant it as a finality.
It's been seven years since I walked out
And made a habit of walking away.
And I know I took it too seriously for too long
But I am known to over-compensate for my failures
And not so famous for letting things go
When they are ready to go.

I've never apologized for the stumbling around
I did as a result of that monster.
And I'm still not ready to do that just yet
But every day I grow further away
From the jumbled mess of bones and emotions I used to be.
So have a little patience while the past settles down
Because I'm still trying to find out what it takes
To be me

4


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Latest Comments

  • 4 months ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    This would be fantastic read aloud. There is vulnerability and an openness in this that leaves me breathless. I found a lot of wisdom in this, and growth, in wondering where the rage will go, how can one carry so much of it? When will be the time to not instinctively run away, to create a wall of defense. We can't always be what others or ourselves consider the opposite of weak. We can't always make the world listen and scream "no" and be heard. And that's absolutely terrifying.

    However, that call for patience, to be gentle while you figure this out and come into who you are... that's beautiful. And something I hope others respect. No one should ever have to go through the hell you described in this, and I can't even begin to imagine, yet you are seeing you can live and love simultaneously. That there may not always be a cost. Not that you should ever feel you have to explain or owe it to anyone. This was such a powerful reflective piece and I hope through writing, it helped reaffirm things.

    There's a sincerity and rawness in this that I just want to thank you for sharing with us. Take care :)

  • 4 months ago

    by Everlasting

    I like the ending the most. thanks for sharing.

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