Poem // Standing Where

August 11, 2016

© 2016 Melissa McLaughlin

I stand in the dark.

A spotlight trained on me hides all else from view
My throat tears from gut-wrenching screams
– a wraith in this never-ending night –
Silence echoes in my ears.

I stand on a precipice.

Darkness surrounds
the faint light behind me begins to fade
Body wavering I try to fight
the inexorable force of gravity
Pulling me down
Down off this ledge
to the frightful comfort of an effortless free fall
the abyss calls me
beckoning in an enticing, insidious, unrelenting murmur
that encapsulates every thought
Infusing itself in my very being.

I stand… I don’t know where exactly.

Voices murmur nearby, familiar voices
bringing the shadow of a smile to my face
A bolt of fear flashes through me
A split second of not knowing
Will I let myself?
Do I dare?
Can I summon the strength to pull myself out of this night – this turmoil that wracks my essence?

No. I won’t. I don’t. I can’t.

I start to crumble, edges caving in, collapsing, crying.
“Wait.”
The word stops me cold
Wait – not cold… warm?
Suddenly warmth creeps into my weak limbs
Bringing life to fingers that fell limp at my sides

My fingers curl around
Grasping lightly then with growing strength
I look down and recognition sparks
A hand – your hand – holding mine

Giving me courage
Giving me hope
Giving me strength

Fingers intertwined you pull me up
Our bodies working together

and I rise
and I smile
and I fly.

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