The Struggle

July 23, 2008
By Madeline Fisher, Wauwatosa, WI

I stumble
I slip
Groping for the finish line,
it’s there, yet unreachable.
My eyes are clouded with a
thick heavy mist,
blocking out my common sense
and my ability to decide my own fate.
The words, they cut through me like a
hot knife through butter on Thanksgiving day.
My body sweats despite the cool atmosphere.
My lips peel from constant biting,
a move used to calm my inner emotions.
I know that steps away there is relief, steps away I’ll find an oasis.
Then there’s everything and everyone else.
Pulling me,
Tugging me,
scraping my skin.
Gnawing at my ankles to keep me in the darkness.
I am resisting despite my own weaknesses
which are yet another evil against me,
another wall in front of my path.
The bottoms of my feet scrape against the ground
littered with sharp stones, born from the unfiltered soil
we’ve made with our remarks.
I’m stretching,
squinting my stinging eyes for anything to hold.
Then there’s a hand.
A single hand outstretched over the glorious finish line
towards my own raw fingers.
As I shakily reach for it I feel the
pulling and tugging and gnawing increase to great measures.
They don’t want me to reach the hand.
They know there’s not turning back after that.
Then sweet victory,
and I am pulled out of this barren land of terrors
into a field of green grasses, sunshine, and love.

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