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Poem: The Warrior

“Keep Fighting” they say.

“You got this” they say.

They mean well but today their kind words don’t permeate the shield of my numbness.

Today, I don’t want to fight. Today I want to raise the white flag of resignation and bury myself in the warm quiet of sleep where I can get a small reprieve from the pain.

“You are so strong” they say.

“You are a warrior” they say.

I am strong.

My body and my soul bear the marks of hard won battle. Some old wounds, some still red with freshness, some unseen by all but me. I can trace each one with my finger, my mind, my soul.

I wonder how many warriors have simply entered the battlefield, laid down their shield and succumbed to the inevitable. Not because they weren’t strong, but because they were.

“You have to keep fighting” they tell me.

“You don’t have a choice” they tell me.

I wonder how many more battles are left in these wrinkled hands, this tired body, this difficult life and contemplate the righteousness of words shouted from the edges of the battlefield.

“I do have a choice” I say.

But for today the weary amazon gathers her war torn armor, dons her smiling face, shields her open heart and simply steps into the din of her now.

A Poem Written for Shelley Johnson 7/6/2016 ©Jennifer Deshaies

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