"Something Tough That Made Me Stronger" by Kerry Devins

I wake up in darkness. I see the moon above me, and I wonder if the man inside can see me, if he’s watching me lying in the dark in that hopeless argyle dress. I’m lying in thorns, and my body has crushed and destroyed all the roses that desperately grow in the cold. My hair has grown gray, my shoes are nowhere to be found, and it doesn’t seem as though I have the strength to move, but I do.

I crawl out of that frightening hole, an ode to to starting from scratch, yet again. Hopeless, undetermined, screaming and crying for someone to help me. I wonder if anyone is close, anybody to pick me up and carry me out of these woods--away from the bare branches of trees, away from the fox and the rats and all the dead leaves. There is nothing but darkness, not only in the sky  but everywhere around me. No one can save me here. Only I can save me, but I don’t think I can. I think “this is it, this is the end.” I cannot crawl out of this.

I hear a gentle crackle as I lie there wallowing,. I sit up, frightened. There is a firefly buzzing around me. A lightning bug chiming in, whispering “follow me, follow me.” Suddenly, I am able to move. The stars get brighter, and as I inch closer to this beautiful creature it moves farther away, and I swear it is humming the song I love most in this worlds, “A Few of My Favorite Things.”

I close my eyes and follow the song, the raindrops on roses, and I don’t look behind me. Fear gets smaller, but it doesn’t disappear, it changes its form and slowly but surely…

There is nothing but courage leading me away.

Gary MillerComment