A Poetry Award Submission by Erin Ward


She ran for her freedom,

She ran in the depths of her dreams,

Praying for certainty it would come.

Battered and broken,

How her back ached,

How her feet had bled

For quick steps taken when fears

Outpaced her wisdom to plan.

But her eyes were clear now,

No tears could blur

The sweet freedom of a sun low in the sky,

Her compass.

But behind her, darkness flooded.

His darkness.

Don't turn back, or else lose your way,

Her lead foot finding solid ground, a step toward the light,

As the other struggled to keep up,

Anchored to memories,

Scarred by false hope,

Earth and rock dropping into the crumbling abyss,

Where joy cannot find breath

And suffering is beyond measure...

But it is no longer her own suffering she is trying to outrun.

She climbed that mountain and trekked those lonely steps.

In that climb, she found it.

A blissful sun, rays of comfort

For a mind well-used,

And a life to be well-spent.

But darkness closes in quickly,

And for him, will remain for now.

If one does not climb, one will not find.

She runs for freedom,

As three little voices cry out,

"It's dark, too dark to see."

Until they reach the light, she will be their light.

Hand in hand, they step.

Photo Erin Ward

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