In hate, we find the answer to the question of our loss,

A blueprint of the magic bridge that takes us far across.

I crossed that bridge of tender wood  when I was really very young;

The hate held warm my panicked heart and turned the muscle strong.

The beast I conquered was my own, so I caged it in my chest,

And carried all its frenzied fear like a beloved’s last request.

Perhaps it was the closest thing to victory, or a coward’s weapon of choice,

I didn’t forgive, tried hard to forget, but I never could vanquish your voice.

My biggest fear was of becoming You, of getting lost, on the path that I feared fate had paved for me to follow.

So I shrank from all paths, climbed mountains in their stead, kept my feet blistered, and my insides hollow.

I was calloused like a hunter, and as weary as a soldier, limping home from a long and vicious war,

Only I had no home to go to, and no bloody wounds to bandage, and no one waiting for me by the door.

So when dawn sat itself down, on the cusp of my adulthood, I released you howling into the wind,

In search of redemption, I set you free, with all your pain and the numbing weight of your past sins.

I broke in half, that cusp of morning, as the rising sun burnt the silver sky,

I turned to girl then, with bleeding feet, and a sudden softness in her eyes.

I didn’t banish you fully from my life; I had my brave little reasons,

But when you incited me, I just let it pass by, as if you were the seasons.

And I’m sorry now, for the ways you were broken, and the ways you never healed,

And I acknowledge you, and how you shaped my life, and how you gifted me a shield.

A shield of fire and of gold, sheathed in survivor’s sweat,

A shield that glows in darkest nights; a warrior’s silhouette.

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