Anxious Blades

There is something tied to my ankle

Dragging behind me, taking the spring from my step and collecting the dirt from the places I’ve been

It weighs me down like an anchor, yet it is so easy for life to become a blur

I want to saw it off, cut myself loose from it

But it gets heavier, and the places to rest are few and far between

I’m a stranger to my own mind, startling myself with the jovial sound of my voice echoing through the comfort of my loved ones

Is this the same mind that threatened to splatter itself all over the sun-drenched walls that enclosed it?

The very one that clings to my ankle, giddily hitching a ride to next chapter of my life?

I can’t say; or rather, I am afraid to look

For if I did, it would gaze keenly into my eyes, and see me for who I truly am

Not ugly, nor unintelligent, nor fearful

The adjective would emblazon itself in front of me, burning into my retinas

UNWORTHY

Unworthy of the love received, of the time given, of the rewards reaped

That grasp on my ankle cuts deeper, but I set my jaw and grit my teeth

I take in the beauty that surrounds me

The birds are chirping, the sun warm on my face, and look at the smile directed at me

She holds her hand out, and I take it without a second thought

We continue down the path that was conceived of before I even understood that I was meant to have a future at all

It is the opening of my eyes for the first time

For the fucking life of me, I swear that I would have never thought that love would flow through my body so completely

I stumble a bit and cry out when the pressure tightens around ankle, allowing incomprehensible pain to slowly work its way through my body

I drop to my knees and desperately try to pull her back to me, but life is carrying her away

Her hand slides into mine, that perfect fit that I have always loved and then it tightens

She tells me to look behind me, or we will lose each other

The wind picks up and the dark clouds appear to replace the joy with emptiness

I close my eyes to accept what my mind has come to inform me, something that I have known all along

It blinks in neon lights across the backs of my eyelids

But when I open them, it is only her, the wind whipping her hair wildly around

Her lovely face is parted in an earnest, loving expression

Her eyes panicked at the thought of losing me

Me

I turn my head and look behind me, preparing myself for the worst

But there is nothing there anymore

The wind slows, and the sun creeps out to shine upon us

She sits down next to me and strokes my hair, and I think to myself

Is this what we do to ourselves?

Do we ruin the lives that we have the opportunity to lead because of the ghosts of our past, stubbornly holding us back?

I stand, and test the weight of my ankle

It holds

I will walk with a limp, but it will heal

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