Dauntless After All

“I wish for the freedom,
the clean air,
to be high on the summit.
If I could sneak,
if my tired legs could take me there,
I’d be gone.”-Brittny Lee

Father time, is making the hours long.
The hags are calling again.
To my post, I go, only to wait,
to stand, to keep awake.
But my thoughts are jumping.

Your form appears before me.
dancing and swaying, beside yourself with energy.

My legs move without conscience permission.
I’m leaving behind all I know.
Drunken with excitement,
I dance out the tall glass doors,
tilting my head back as Winter’s winds greet me and
I laugh loudly, letting the only the wind silence me.

Those watching me leave,
whisper in concern to one another.
My fit of laughter begins again.

You wander into the woods.
Gracefully, you cross a frozen puddle.
The ice doesn’t shatter, nor cave.
As I make my way closer,
you continue on, like I’m not even there.
You come upon a large, stony hill.
You reach the top quickly.
There’s a cascade behind you
and a flock of dead trees, their bark marred from fire, from a recent battle.

As I start to ascend, I notice we’re not by alone.
Black figures shift into solid bodies.
They clamber after me,
dragging themselves from puddles,
moldering logs, and from behind stones.

You’re watching this all unfold
upon your dale.
Is that a smile I see?
I’m scratching at faces, at arms,
and at hands, all threatening to tear me apart.

I grab ahold a charred tree
and kick at the beings with all my might.
Some fall away but more appear.
They’re dragging me down,
farther and farther away from you.
I’m closer to the end that I’ve ever been.
I’m kissing the decaying leaves in the pools,
breathing in the stagnant water,
choking and raking the earth for another grip.
The roots further ahead are a stretch.
I lunge and kick a creature in the stomach,
grappling a thick root.

The bark is slick with icy water droplets.
I dig my nails in and manage to wrap my hand around it’s body.
I yank myself out of the pool,
climbing up the roots, snaking under and the stoney
path on your dale.

You jump down and face the creatures left.
They gander at your beauty,
as I had done.
That leaves the dumbfounded and distracted.
You destroy them with minimal movements.
Their faces, as they collapse, are crestfallen-then blank.

Bruised and now, brazen,
I lay my head at your feet
You kneel down and guide me to my feet.
You place your hand over mine.
My eyes meet yours.
I’m not sure I trust you, but I can’t seem to
pull away so I let you lead me again.

Together we make our way up the dale.
You extend your finger outward,
pointing to all of the decimation wrought
below us.
Then, you point to yourself,
to me, and outwards once more.

All the black creatures disappeared.
The charred, dead trees,
are replaced by tall oaks, pines, and
saplings harboring leaves plentiful.
The ice is melted and no stagnant pools
are left, only glassy streams.
There are bushels of flowers for miles
and tall luscious green grass,
perfect for running through.

My smile reaches my eyes
and I squeeze your hand.
There is nothing left to fear,
nothing to run from.
There’s no hags calling,
no line to stand in.
The demons are slain,
and bountiful beauty resides in its place.

Up here, it’s all magnificent.
I’m feeling rejuvenated and ready to explore.
I turn to you
but you’ve left.

Perhaps you have finished your task.
I look back out and sigh.
I begin my journey
back into the world that I ran from,
feeling ready for the first time.

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