The Cage

The incessant din of muffled voices grated against her agitated nerves. She retreated deeper into the cave, into the safe silence and dark. It did not welcome her like before. The silence was deafening, mocking, echoing the distant shouts and laughter etched deep into her memory.

Once there was something more than this. A deep, radiating warmth. Excitement. Pounding rhythms and bodies twirling in ecstasy. Open hands on outstretched arms. Voices in unison. Scattered images and flashes of emotion flitted around in her mind.

Her trepidation faded into the background where it remained as nothing but a distant whisper lost behind the quickened pounding of her heart. She looked down at the still, lonely pool of water and saw no reflection for lack of light.

She tried to remember Before, tugging at threads of memories asking herself what the danger had been. What had she barricaded herself away from, and why?

A flash of fire, words spoken in anger, fists raised in fury…so distant. She could no longer find the scars upon her heart and her hands.

The pain of hiding overcame the fear of exposure. She put all of her weight into the boulder at the opening, pushing it aside. Squinting at the bright unknown, she stepped out into the light.


The Shelter

The forest around her was engulfed in flames. The thick smoke was noxious and suffocating. With the tears in  her eyes flowing so quickly she could no longer see the ruined, dying landscape about her, she reached instinctively for the pouch tied around her neck.

Time was forgotten as she pulled the cord and the pouch slid open. She reached inside for the first time. She found nothing but a quaint blue stone which glistened intensely as reflections of the surrounding flames danced on it’s fractured surface.

She felt a glimmer of apprehension as she closed her hand around the stone, a shadow of worry that perhaps it was worthless, and all was lost. But in her desperation, second guesses and doubt held no weight, all there was to do was believe. So she did.

She closed her eyes and focused all of her attention on the little stone in her palm. Thick tendrils of cold wrapped around her fingers, then up her wrist, and her arm. Soon they had spiralled all around her. All was forgotten – the forest, the fire, the ruin, the pain. Absolute silence. Frozen in a welcome embrace. Now she could rest.

For Air

Upon breaking the surface
of the dark, choppy water
she found herself gasping for air
and felt everything so clearly
after the time spent muffled
in the dark

She was a bit frightened
of this new sense of exposure
to be linked directly
to everything around her
after that comforting prison
in the dark

Trying to remember
where she was going before,
she could not quite capture
the same feeling
that old direction

Something was different
inside of her
from being locked
in an intimate embrace
with her own shadow
and nothing else
for so very long

Disorientated, yet enlivened
the vast expanse
of potential
which she had gained
began to dawn on her
and she laughed

Breathing deeply now
the wind blew cold
on her skin
and she did not tremble
or pull away from it

After years of watching
birds pass by
from the ground
feeling stuck and resentful,
she unfurled her wings
and she flew.