The Plummet Before the Rise

Illustration by Angel Marie Russell

They say
Be Strong
So, yea
I’m sure I’ve done
What they said.
I’m sure I’ve lifted myself up
When other’s would
Have given in.

I’ve been towed
I’ve been plowed over,
Trodden, and seeded.

I’ve been covered in dirt.
Toppled over and under,
Until the tide receded.

I’ve climbed above the surface.
I rose and I rose
until the sun kissed my face.

I grew and I grew until
My tender limbs
Threatened to break
And did.
Then I reached, even
Past the pain,
Further still.

Hands agape
Fingers spread wide
I threatened, I jostled,
I tried, I dared,
To touch the sky
And almost did.

I’ve also learned the hard way
To not become so tough
From striving
That I brittle, crumble, and crack.

That I don’t fly so high
I suffocate
and plummate supplicant
to the Earth.

That I don’t succumb
To numbing the pain
When it is so heavy I forget to fly
And fall
Into the depths of another wave.
And it threatens once again
To sweep me quickly under
And away.

And above all I’ve learned
The source of my strength.
Is and always has been

And that when I focus
Everything I have on this mercy
Of hope on the whisper of
A doves wing,
In the promise
Of the morning dew
On the softly petaled rose,
I find peace in the plummet
And my wings find
Once again
The stillness of the breeze.

-Angel Marie Russell


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