My Poem For Warding Off The Darkness

She carries burdens like flowers; says that scars are just rough kisses from the universe.

I’ve always wanted to be the girl they write poems about.

The wild one with eagle wings instead of arms and owl eyes; the one who dances at the cliff’s edge wearing a yellow dress and no shoes; so they call her brave. She has courage for a mouth and makes confessions like cereal; so they call her brave.

She carries burdens like flowers; says that scars are just rough kisses from the universe;
so they call her brave.
And most days I feel like a coward. But I’m learning to forgive myself.
Because my mind has become home to monsters that no one sees. And I’ve been fighting a war with nothing but my bare hands. And I know, they’ll never write poems about the girl who finally crawled out of bed; and they don’t sing songs about finally washing last week’s dishes;
but I am tired of hearing the ones who flirt with death being called courageous.
Because death and I have phone calls that last for hours. And he comes before breakfast to ask me if I’ve given up;
and I always say no;
even on the days when I have.
he comes when I’m crying on the bathroom floor with only my own hand to hold and I can barely manage to shake my head; he comes dressed like the hangman and puts the rope between my fingers;
But I choose to bind my wrists instead.
I am not the girl in the yellow dress.
You won’t find me dancing at the edge of a cliff but that’s just because I’m too busy holding on to it with trembling fingers;
confessions don’t come easily because I don’t know if I can bear the weight of a broken heart and a broken brain; sometimes I can’t even find the energy to make cereal; and scars are reminders of all the times I’ve felt worthless
but I’m still here;
You’re still here.
And if no one else will; I’ll call myself brave.
And if no one else has;
If they use words like lazy instead;
I’ll call you brave.
And say that this poem is for you; that you are worthy of a thousand more; that if I could sing, I’d write songs in your honour
about answering the phone and leaving the house;
And if they call us cowards;
we’ll say we can’t hear them over the sound of these sheets coming off;
the sound of
running water
And last week’s dishes.

– Because we deserve to have poems written about us…

About the guest author

Stella John

Being in the media and film industry since 2011, she has worked as an asst. director, photographer, creative director and writer in various projects. She finds her passion in traveling, love in writing, peace in art, and continues hunting for creativity and beauty in life.