Poem Hunter
Shades Of Light
EW Emily Wood ( / )

Shades Of Light

I know shades of darkness.
Most aren't dark at all.

It's a fake smile, on the brightest of days.

It's endless receiving, not having worked for it.

It's knowledge in the head, having no way to the mouth and hands.

It's being without privacy, even when alone.

It's ideas flowing, with no clear opportunity.

It's fantasizing at night, knowing the next day includes nothing of such sweetness.

These... These, and such things... Are so very dark.

My life was worth more than video games and Lacoste sweaters.

My life was worth more than appearances and facades.

My life was worth more than treading eggshells and disappearing acts into bottles.

A day came when my heart and soul screamed out together, shaking my feet and ear drums, GO.



With every little ounce of courage I could gather from the ends of my extremities, I went.

I went. I would admit to no one, I was afraid. Indeed, I was terrified.

My pride was exhausted. What was left of it.

My esteem was dripping. What was left of it.

My hope was fading. What was left of it.

I was consumed in a variety of humiliation. My reflection insulted itself. When it could stand itself long enough.

I went to the riverbanks found in the bottoms of canyons. I set great fires there. I sat in the freezing cold, feet in the sand, staring off into flames, and stars.

I lit those fires only by prayer, an ax from the sand, and dry drift wood off the river.

I pondered all that made my own skin crawl. I searched within myself for answers to my questions. Realizing they were indeed there.

I accepted all I could be accountable for, without condoning a single way I had been wronged.

Anger and sadness writhed within me. And I allowed my heart to caress all I deserved to feel. Allowing my head to translate these crucial messages we call emotions.

Then I asked myself... What now?

What now?

What now?

And who am I now? And who can I be? And how do I do this.

That little voice said, 'Try.'

So I tried to look in the mirror. I tried to remember who I was. I tried to dream again. I tried to remember what I loved. I tried to remember my talents. I tried to remember what made me happy. I tried to remember what was fun.

Then I asked myself... What now?

What now?

What now?

And who am I now? And who can I be? And how do I do this?

That little voice said, 'Do.'

So I looked into the mirror until I could look in my own eyes. I held onto my virtues of compassion, kindness, beauty, and loyalty.

I dreamt great dreams of answering to the calls of purpose, and loving ferociously.

I held every person I loved, I stood on every piece of ground I loved, I listened to every song I loved, drove every road, had every long shower, took every flower, read every book, sat in every silence, that I loved.

I placed my hands on the piano, sang songs out loud, wrote every story, hugged and listened to every person, and stood up for myself unapologetically. And I did it all well.

I took deep breaths, and held my baby. I put my makeup on, and got dressed every morning. I treated myself kindly. I put the windows down, and the music up, for every joy ride. I sat with friends, and family, eating, and laughing. Because it made me happy.

I walked around barefoot. I kicked a soccer ball. Dribbled a basketball. I traveled to far ends of the world. I took pictures, and made ridiculous videos. I picked apples and blueberries from the orchard. I pet the cows, and ran my hands through the sweet grass. I sat in the creek, running my feet on the smooth rocks. For no other reasoning than it was fun.

Then I asked myself... What now?

What now?

What now?

And who am I now? And who can I be? And how do I do this?

That little voice said, 'Go.'

I laughed. Because I had gone before.

So I went.

Exuding the qualities of a righteous and beautiful woman. A woman who can look herself in the eyes, loving all that has been done well, loving all there is to be improved.

Living according to the call of purpose. Using every bit of struggle I've known to lighten the burdens of others. Digging into the depths of my spirit so as to love ferociously, but not without intimacy and gentleness.

Holding those that I love. Holding strangers whom need love. Loving every place I trod. Loving every lovely sound that blesses my ears. Driving every road, embracing the solitude of dirt and tree. Each shower washing the negativity that tries so hard to consume me. Breathing deeply the sweet aroma of the wildflowers. Lips whispering the grace of words of pages that smell of hidden corners of libraries. Solitude found in the most stimulating of places, as though in a chapel by a great waterfall at the edge of an angry desert.

Singing to the birds, my baby, and those behind bars. Writing my story to those who need know they are not alone. Holding and empathizing with those I'm so privileged to be trusted by. Standing tall enough I need not use any words with those who dared to say, 'I told you so, ' 'You are nothing, ' 'You are no one.' They see my stance, and refrain. They see my stance and say, 'I am lost, ' 'I am hurting, ' 'I am broken, ' 'Help me? ' And I do it all better than ever.

Breathing deeply, dancing with baby. Respecting every wrinkle, every scar. Dressed in more than clothing, but armor, and pearls. Applying every kindness to myself, that in taking care of myself, I am able to take care of others. My windows are down even when it rains, and melodies flow in the wind, with my hair. I sit with friends, new, and old. I sit with family, new, and old. We eat. We laugh. We eat more. And, laugh harder! Joy overflows from me.

Feet with soles of dirt. Running along every field, and every court. Hanging from the sides of moving trains during an Indian sunset. Sitting on top of colonial forts on top of mountains on top of waters during a Saint Lucian sunrise. Pictures holding still the biggest smiles of the moments of life. Videos replaying little miracles all around us. Apples cut into roses, blueberries baked into pies. Calves now full grown, allowing me the freshest of sweet grass to run through. The steady creek's pebbles only becoming smoother. Having the time of my life.

The most recent time I asked,
'What now? '

What now...

What now...

And who am I now? And who can I be? And how do I do this?

That little voice...

That little voice said, 'BE.'

So here I am.

I know shades of darkness.

Thank you darkness.
I would have never known the light.
Thank you.

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