I Refuse


"Travel," I said.

No, don't do that.

"Wear what you desire," I said.

No, don't do that.

"Forge your own trail, while others take the one paved in stone, in cement," I said.

No, don't do that.

"I refuse."

I stand in the depths of a canyon; shadows peer down from its rocky slopes.

They fall, all at once: a swarm of chided words, of informal social controls. 

They chain me, tie me, obscure my vision, until I'm left alone.

To die, or to come alive? 

I slash. I gnaw. It is not those actions that set me free.

I relax, and the chains fall away. The dreams others had for me,

not the dreams I had for myself.

I am a star in the soup of galaxy

that rises over my head, that rivals the morning sun in beauty,

that makes us all seem so very small.

I am a grain of sand in a swirling tan dune

framed by a glowing green feature wall: the Northern Lights.

I am a drop of turquoise in the Caribbean Sea, a flake of snow in the untamed Yukon,

but I am also 


I stand at the edge of Trolltunga, with my hands thrown skyward.

My hair billows in the wind, too thick to be appropriate,

Too wild, to free, to earn anything but scorn.

I wear a silk dress, and a flower in my hair: these are the clothes I am most comfortable in.

I stand at the edge of Trolltunga, I, not someone else's twisted depiction of me

and I think

this all began when I had the courage to say 

"I refuse."



Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741