My Poem For Warding Off The Darkness

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…

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