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The Other Side of My Heart This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I stopped to examine my heart yesterday.
There were cracks and chips and scratches
That I didn’t remember getting.
An infrastructure of fractured pathways
Ran around the slopes,
Pausing only to leap over
Sharp edges.
And darkness hung like a shadow,
Beckoning from the innermost fissures.

Slowly, I remembered
The heartache and the fighting that tore the cracks,
Those unforgettable bad days that scratched the surface,
And the angry words that had heedlessly chipped away
At the essence of myself.
Ridicule and derision filled my ears,
With the sound of what had made the edges
So hopelessly serrated—
The fear of being
who I am.

Then I flipped my heart on to its side
And turned it over and over in my palms,
In a trance.
The rough exterior scratched my skin,
And I felt the striations of the places that had been
Chipped away.
I pressed my fingers against the cracks
As if I could plug them up or
make them vanish when I removed my fingers—
Or maybe to stop myself
from leaking.

Suddenly I felt something
Smooth, polished, unbroken.
The other side of my heart had made its way
To my consciousness.
I tiptoed out of oblivion and gazed at what I held in my palms,
Flipped.
This side was beauty in all its forms—
It was my passions and my strengths and my talents
It was the result of kind words and varying decibels of laughter;
the epitome of whispered secrets and backyard daffodils.
This side not only reflected light in bouncing rays—
It RADIATED light.
I looked closer, and I saw that it was not always perfect.
There were scars that were quickly fading to just above invisible;
They left their imprints, their memories
And in that moment I knew—
This side of my heart had rebuilt itself.
It took the best parts of my life and used them as glue;
It held itself together
Even when I was falling apart.

The chips on the other side, I now understand,
are gone,
But not lost forever.
Many parts of the other half are scratched,
But only upon the fragile surface.
The cracks are still there,
But they can be joined once more.

As I look down at what I hold in my hands, I see two sides of a human being—
The side that accepts shortcomings and disappointments without a second thought,
And the side that wants to change them:
The side that wants to recreate beauty from
Darkness.
The side that keeps us going when
there is nowhere left to go.
The piece of us that realizes that we must create happiness for ourselves
And that it is NOT
Handed to us.
Maybe all we really need to do
is look at things again
Flipped.




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