Guide the Splitting Paths

Guide me, until I break

the surface of the water

that held me down.

Hold me, as I gasp

for air that was denied to me

for so long.

Help me, as I swim

with struggling, unsure strokes

across the wide ocean.

Pull me, as I claw

with desperate, wild movements

onto the nearest shore.

Push me, as I crawl

across the sandy dirt and rocks

that scrape and tear at my hands.


You hold the flashlight for me

as I grasp at your hand

in the seemingly bleak darkness

with sharp, bright fear.

You draw the map

and provide the compass

that points the way.


I blink.


Take a step


over the wide hill.


Your compass leads to a split

of roads.

Winding, whirling, twisting, turning

smooth, swift, rocky, rough



You guide,

but ultimately

I have the freedom

to choose.


And for that

I must thank you.


Thank you

for not dragging,

but guiding.

Thank you

for not shoving,

but nudging.

Thank you

for knowing when to stand strong,

and when to step aside.

Thank you

for not yanking,

but leading.

Thank you

for not controlling,

but standing up for me.

Thank you 

for helping me

no matter how much 

I mistakenly push you away.


Guide me, until I






the surface of the water

that held me down.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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