Why I Fight


United States

Get up. Open my eyes. Today begins.

The reality that it must begin is what scares me.

It waits like a resolute samurai at the threshold – Here is your sword, we must begin the battle before we are overcome.

The day is already bleeding through my rose colored glasses, a swirling cacophony of responsibilities and what is not yet done and what was left from yesterday and what can’t wait and please don’t forget and make sure to finish and don’t look at me like that and get out of the way and help your sister.

It is a blinding torrential wind of - don’t be stupid Have you thought about college? Did you finish your homework last night? Why didn’t you tell me the tank was getting low? Can you finish your chores before you leave? Please throw this away for me Have some fruit instead Stop standing around and make yourself useful Why do you look so stressed? Have you taken time to rest? Why are you tired? There’s no reason why you should be tired, I've  worked for 10 hours the past three days. You don’t know what tired is.           --Okay, okay, OKAY!


I know.

That’s enough.



In the last few moments of silence and darkness,       I wait.

Close my eyes for just a little longer,                           Breathe.

Maybe… maybe… it’ll be okay,                                    Just hold on.


But then, in my little world, in the quiet, a light flashes and I realize,


I am alive.


There is breath in my lungs. Sight in my eyes. Blood in my heart and might in my mind.

Here - Here is a safe place, a place of warmth and food and shelter.

It may not be perfect, but here, there is a hope. an energy. and a dream.


But there, away from here, is scary and strange, loud and fast, violent and broken. Why should you hope or dream?


Because I am alive


With my breath and my sight and my blood and my might –

I can change something.

I can touch a life, change a heart, and heal with joy and compassion.

I can slay a few of my fears, quiet some of the noise, and bind up a little of the brokenness.

I can build with my hands, walk with my feet, and discover something new.

I can see the world in a different way and choose to love.

I can run and laugh and sing and shout, but not without stopping to make the world a little more beautiful, a little more joyful, a little more precious, and a little more alive.


And in my heart, I know that I cannot change the world, but I can change the now.

The world will still be scary, strange, loud, fast, violent, and broken.

But perhaps a little less.


Through me, perhaps a little less.


I will dream.

I will hope.

I will be alive.










Let us begin.

This poem is about: 
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