The Rising. {poetry}


Five years it’s been

Since I last saw your face

The most painful day of my life

Where did it all go wrong?

How could the man I love

Turn from sweet innocence

To a dangerous monster?

Forcing me to flee

For my mind, body, and heart’s sake.

In the beginning, our spirits were full of adventure

And our wedding was a page out of a storybook

Yet like a princess locked away in the highest tower

I felt my soul slipping away

Hoping and wishing every day

For a soldier to come rescue me

From the dagger in your words

And the sting of your fist

But none ever came

Then the warrior rose within me

With sword and shield

Ready to fight for my freedom

Declare war on all the wrong you had done to me

Even if my heart was not ready to leave

Still holding out hope

That some part of you

Did truly love me

Day after day the battle raged

And more and more it became clear

That nothing about you was ever sincere

I had fallen in love with a lie

And on that final day

My heart shattered into a million pieces

Liberation had been won

I was a free woman

Lost in a wilderness of what once was

Weary and badly wounded

I disappeared

Lying beneath the surface

Hiding from the world

Trusting no one

In fear of being swindled again

You had destroyed me

Almost beyond repair.

And like dislocated, broken bones

My heart became disfigured,

Forming into the shape of a mended, warped shield

Protecting me from feeling love’s cold, painful sting again

I felt crippled,

Alone and desperate

So I fled

From everyone

And everything

I ever knew

To escape the memory of you

Running far, far away

I came to a place where cathedrals and castles told a tale

And fashion, wine, and cheese reigned

Granting me a new start

So that the true me

Could rise from the ashes once again

But just as a doctor resets deformed bones

The distortions in my heart began to break.

Agony engulfed my soul

My heart suffered in torment and pain

The outside world saw a smile

But I was barely functioning inside.

Yearning for it all to end

Death began to look like a merciful friend.

Picking up a pen,

I turned to an old friend

And with each stroke of ink,

My heart was soothed

My soul put at ease.

Wrapped in beautiful, phoenix-feathered silk

 I began to rest.

As the days grew long

My heart became one

Then little by little

Light shone through

The wrappings fell off

And once again the mirror

Showed the woman I once knew

Rising from the ashes

Armed and ready

The warrior within

Began to survey the dungeon

That had held me captive from the world

Looking for ways to bring it down

In the past, the war was fought alone

Every struggle endured in silence

But now other warriors appeared

Bringing sledgehammers and grenades

Together we destroyed the prison

That I had called home for far too long

I began to walk again

Smile again, laugh again

Believe in love again

I became open

Willing to trust

Willing to learn

Fear no longer controlled me

I am whole

I am healed

I can do anything

My heart is able to love again.


Karen Kirby is a southerner who loves theatre and poetry. She believes these are the two best ways to spotlight problems and emotions in the world that are often swept under the rug. Today’s society does not always allow a person to express their deep emotions or feelings. They are often deemed ‘sensitive’ or ‘crazy’ even for expressing how they truly feel. Yet in poetry and theatre one can express these deep emotions without ridicule. This is why she writes. So that those who feel as deeply as her never feel alone.


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