February 21, 2016

The Walls Inside. {Poem}


In this life, the walls we create

Promise to provide shelter,
Protection from the greatest storms,
The wildest, rockiest intrusions man can concoct
And they do—


Shuttered up tightly, my walls guarded me
Each day and night so that nothing unwanted
Or unpleasant was granted willing entrance
This didn’t stop the storms from rattling at the doors
And breaking out the glass,
Ripping from the roof and foundation fragments of debris,
And still, I all but disappeared behind my fortress

And the voices, pleasant and gentle, whispered,
“Let me in”
Promising joy and thrills not found in safe places

Their sound at first foreign and signaling danger,
I wrapped myself tighter, yet they persisted,
Soothing, lulling, and I, entranced,
One day broke, loosening just slightly
To let their sweet, sweet words engulf

But oh, the storms they came in too!
With their winds and howling screams
Crashing through the safety of once closed stronghold
Damn those voices for bringing with them
That which I most feared!
Damn them for bringing the winds of change
And raw, unfelt emotion,
Damn me for trusting

And in that crumpled, heaving heap that I became,
Braced against intruders to my heart
There I felt a new voice, a stronger voice
A voice more ancient than my walls,
Its wisdom drawing out a million lifetimes
Of safety based on fear

And I did the only thing I could
To save my life from this despair:
Carrying deep within the sound of that ancient voice
I threw open the gates and stood,
Facing all the storms I ever pushed away

With the walls still erect around me, I walked out,
Outside the safety, surrounded by all that I had ever feared
And the raging finally stopped, the howling wind subsided
And the peace I sought by hiding overtook me
In this eye, the center, I finally recognized the ancient voice,
The voice of wisdom, peace, and love
The only voice with the power to tear down walls

This voice…it was my own


Author: Ashley Barnes

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Photo: Sondem/Dollar Photo Club

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