Winning Submission: Visual Poem
An Internal Confrontation
The monster at my heels
lopes hungrily in my wake.
He shadows every step,
ravenous for the fluttering beat of my heart,
the sweat of my fears, the salt of my tears.
He makes my feet shuffle listlessly
when in my heart I long to leap.
He drags me down with the weight of inadequacy,
Makes my stomach sink, limbs tremble, voice weak.
He sinks in his scraggly claws and guts me
when I’m down.
His ragged voice whispers of
He prowls after me ceaselessly,
finds me in my darkest moments, pollutes my greatest triumphs.
And so I tread cautiously, retreat into my shell,
yet still the monster follows.
He flaunts my every weakness, knows my every fear,
And then I finally think,
So be it.
I have been quiet for too long,
been downtrodden and weak,
never tested my strength for fear that it’s not enough.
I am in control of my own fate.
If I fall, it will be on my terms.
I face down the monster always behind me
And drown out his roar with my own.
He is doubt and nerves and shame.
He is everything I hate in myself
but I am stronger than my doubts.
I am light and dreams and risk.
I will climb ever higher,
I will not concede,
I will not let my voice and my will
be suppressed by the monster that whispers, “can’t”.
And if that monster nipping at my heels tries to drag me down with doubts,
mire my soul in weakness,
silence my voice through fear…
Well, he’ll have to catch me first.