you have grown used to plastering a smile on your face
reminding everyone that you are doing just okay
but the minute that they let go of your gaze is
when you struggle to bring that same joy to yourself
perhaps you feel as though your inner thoughts
have cut off all of your circulation and your ability
to vocalize what is scattered along the corners of your mind
so you eventually find yourself in this cycle that gets no recognition
but you cannot reach your full potential being afraid of vulnerability
there will be times when you feel compelled to express yourself
because somewhere within you there was a door that crept open
that held your self-confidence but for whatever reason you could not see it
you see there will be moments when the door to confidence is anything
but possible to open and you will feel exhausted at the number of times
that you tried to see the possibility of it all again
i am telling you now that you are stronger than you may think
and your persistence to find confidence is not to be ignored
think about it
the time that you have felt discouraged towards moving forward
but something happens that stops you in your tracks
big or small
whatever it was somehow brought that smile back to your face
you did not expect it to be that simple but it was
allow that to be the reminder that centers your intrusive thoughts
every emotion that washes over us is temporary
the lessons that we learn throughout the journey of life
will stay with us much longer
you deserve to smile

Poet Paige Cary

you finally found what slipped from you without your knowledge
it took some time to remember but you have to know
that you had to go for a little while
at the moment of destruction your higher being
knew that it was time to step in
not that you lacked the strength to be rid of this pain
that was beginning to seep into you
but there is a part of yourself that sees all things that exist
beyond what you can comfortably hold onto in real-time
the truth has a way of shrinking you down
by making it close to impossible to believe that
you are entirely worthy of a peaceful life
while you never thought it would happen to you
the stories that belonged to all the other names
always left a pit that had no ending in your stomach
you could only imagine the sheer anguish that
took over another who had been violated
never was it your truth to carry
but only a hand to be held for support
until the table changed positions bringing you to the head
with the spotlight beaming on you in a way that left you exposed beyond belief
the story that was once a faraway tale that loomed alongside your fears
now transmuted into your own complex story to piece together
your memory became hazy in ways that you never experienced before
the act was debilitating but it was the waves that came
with the aftermath that left you incapable of moving forward
the world around you rapidly flashed by without consideration of your new reality
everything that you thought you knew about yourself seemed foreign
you never thought the day would come when you would lose trust in yourself
but there you were running away from what they did to you
without understanding that you were only trying to protect yourself
from reliving the tragedy over and over again
but it got to the point that this became your daily routine
escaping to cope only allowed the wound to twist itself around your center
instead of going inward you found solace in mimicking
the pain you felt when your body shut down to their touch
jump starting the patterns of doing anything to replicate that feeling upon yourself
failing to get it just right since you were not the one to torment yourself to no end
all this did was cover you in bruises that left its marks along your skin
your neglected mind needed you to wake up and pay attention
as soon as you remember who you are that is when you can bloom back into yourself
resistance towards honoring what you deserved in that moment will be present often
but holding space for that truth will bring the opportunity to mend what was taken from you


you should have never been handed the cards of being the being
that needed to grow up before the ones you were surrounded by
being young with a mind that has molded at a pace that was beyond your control
only left you staggering in a way that was meant to slow down to be steady
more than anything you wanted to exist in real time without panicking
about the world seeing what can make you crumble if you drift back to the dark place
you want to forget but you found a home in that dark place
you knew which way to go in that space
the nightmares that leeched onto you against your will
ring at a frequency that is deafening to bare alone
of course you tried to escape this tortuous site
but your feet left your mind behind as they led you to the twisted truth
your greatest fears happened
not once
not twice
but thrice
the charm of three found a way to gut you from the inside out
there you are weaving around these horrors
doing whatever it takes to look away at what had happened to you
but being an owner in the dark place means running away is a game that fools play
the exhaustion settles in quicker than anticipated and your eyes grow heavy
at the sight of foreign beings entering your sacred temple
listening as you say no but the rhythm seems to pick up more
maybe you were not heard clearly enough
the word that is a full-blown sentence yet
it is the one word that seems to baffle the abuser to no end
being a bystander within the dark place
you are in awe at how life slipped from your eyes
after the desperate attempts to have these attacks come to a halt
your body became a shell of itself
a protective shield encapsulated around your spirit to keep you as safe as can be
watching the act in its entirety has become the most significant feature that plays in your mind
as the loops of your trauma move backward and forward
there is a dim light that is almost too faint to be seen inside the heart of this gloomed filled space
but it catches your attention enough to yank yourself free of the pain that has seeped into you
you hesitate as you approach the light
it is as if you have forgotten what it feels like to be embraced by the warmth of new possibilities
before you reach out to grasp this light
there are shadows of figures lingering through the entrance to this new beginning

Poet Paige Cary

there is a familiarity that bombards you
you see yourself
your thirteen-year-old self
your nineteen-year-old self
and your twenty-five-year-old self
but standing shyly behind these versions of you
you notice a little girl
the curls of her hair dance around her chocolate-splashed face
each of you making room for her and giving her the time to step forward to look at you
she examines you with a sense of curiosity that only a child could do so well
there is zero judgment that exudes from this girl
all at once she breaks into a smile that unlocks what has been hidden
the only words that fall from her are that
she wants you to follow her out of the darkness and you can trust her guidance
you willingly follow and take one final glance at what has to be left behind
there is fear that is attached to walking away from what has harmed us
we know that sort of agony better than any other experience that has found its way to us
but when the trust that is placed within yourself begins to fall into alignment
a sense of peace will wash over you and give you the chance
to be reintroduced to who you are today because this version of you
can finally give grace to where you have been and make room for where you are going