Poetry

Plumage

“To them, I am no more than a vessel.
A means to an end.
But they will never break me.”

These wings of mine bear no feathers that allow me to take flight. They’ve been clipped, grounding me and stripping me of everything I was. Strong. Independent. Survivor. Just a few of the colors painting me as a person. Now, all that’s left of me is red. It blazes behind my eyes, reflects back at me in the puddle of rainwater at my feet. It follows me wherever I go. With every footstep. In every shadow. And around every corner. For I am no more than a vessel. I am a means to an end. But they don’t see me in that light. In me, they see hope. I was reduced to this, and I allowed it to define me. I let it become my new identity. But it was them that failed to see the plumage beneath. Because I am so much more. I am a woman, too. I am owned, suppressed, and oppressed. I am a victim.

© Sarah Doughty

But they will never
break me.

Prompt: Handmaid’s Tale
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

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Poetry

The Art Of Becoming

“Everything I have learned from you,
was what I never wanted to become.”

Everything I have become, I have learned from you. I knew far more than any little girl should ever know. But those memories stay with me for a reason. I understood, on some basic level, the kind of person you were. The way you didn’t seem to have a conscious. The way you looked at me. And that hunger in your eyes. I knew the monster in the night better than I knew the man in the day. But I learned to be caring. I learned the difference between love and prey. I learned to stand up, and put on a mask every day to keep our secrets. Most of all, what I learned from you was everything I never wanted to become.

© Sarah Doughty

And I think I’ve finally
proven to myself that
even though I am
of your flesh and blood,
I am nothing like you.

Poetry

Empathy

“And this is what it means to feel
beyond oneself. This is what it means
to know empathy.”

And this is when I am both the song and the metre. When I am both tears and grief. Loss and emptiness. Bravery and fragility. This is me, both puddle and sponge, constantly at war with myself and the world around me. This is what it means to feel beyond oneself. This is what it means to mirror what is happening around you. This is what it means to know empathy.

© Sarah Doughty

I always feel it.
And like that sponge,
I am helpless to stop it.

Poetry

Everything I Am

“Everything I am is meant
to love you for all that you are.
And that will never change.”

And this is the only way I know how to tell you what you mean to me. This is the best way I know to tell you the thoughts in my mind. The ones that keep me up late into the night and into the early morning hours. The ones that call out to you on the wind that carries through the clouds, but never seem to reach your ears. It beats in my heart, moves through my veins. It caresses my skin, flows through my hair. Everything I am is meant to love you for all that you are. And that will never change.

© Sarah Doughty

What I feel is endless.
It’s my voice that can’t seem
to find the right words.

Poetry

Be Still

“And the moon may hide her eyes,
too afraid to look, but the night
always comes to an end.”

Be still. The night is long and imaginations can run wild. And the moon may hide her eyes, too afraid to look at what lurks under her watch, but the night always comes to an end. “Remember,” she whispers, “those nightmare monsters can’t find you if they can’t hear you whimpering. Remember, those same monsters will turn to dust when the sun finally rises to greet the morning. It’s the real monsters that you should worry about. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. Bloodthirsty minds hiding behind human eyes. Be still and know that morning will come soon.”

© Sarah Doughty

The nightmare
will come to an end.
Don’t give up hope.

Poetry

Free Falling

“From the first moment I looked at you,
I knew. I knew you were the one.”

From the first moment I looked at you, I knew. I knew you were the one. I refused to acknowledge it at the time, but the way my body reacted was undeniable. My heart leapt in my chest. Butterflies danced in my stomach at the same time I felt like I was free falling toward the ground. Like the first drop from a roller coaster. But what really hit me was the way my breath hitched in my throat. It was instantaneous. I stopped breathing at the sight of you. And I never wanted to look away.

© Sarah Doughty

Sometimes you
just know,
and that’s when
the journey
truly begins.

Poetry

Stillness

“No matter how broken you
thought you were, you were
still needed. You were still loved.”

And I wonder, how did you get so low that you truly thought this world would be better without you in it? Why did you suffer in silence? Struggle with your demons on your own? I was there. Standing right beside you. I needed you. To open up to me. To stay. To trust that I wouldn’t be better off with you gone. Because I’m not. I’m still breathing and you’re six feet below the grass beneath my feet. If I could go back in time and push back, to force you to see that no matter how broken you thought you were, you were still needed. You were still loved.

© Sarah Doughty

I still
love you.
I will always
love you.

Earthen Witch, Poetry

My Hope

“You were always meant to
show me what it means to have hope.
What it takes to survive.”

I need to to know one thing, you were always meant to slay your demons. You were meant to fight back, find your heart beneath the rubble, and put yourself back again. I’ve watched you. I’ve felt your suffering. The intensity of your love, and how much you believe in making this world a better place. All I can say is that you’re my hero. You’re my heart and my soul. You are everything I ever needed to know that being broken doesn’t mean that you have to stay that way. You see, you’ve given me hope. In those moments of desperation, you’ve been there to pick me up and dust me off. You taught me how to stand tall with my head held high. Thank you barely covers what you’ve done for me.

© Sarah Doughty

You are
my soul,
my heart,
my hero,
my hope.

A tribute to the main heroine of my
Earthen Witch Universe series.

Poetry

Neverending Story

“I fell for you far before I realized
my heart was ever claimed.
And I haven’t regretted a single moment.”

You broke through to my soul without moving a muscle. That was something I thought only existed in fairy tales. Yet here I am, loved by you. Accepted by you. As I am. Even the broken part of me. How could anyone deny that kind of devotion? I fell for you far before I realized my heart was ever claimed. And I haven’t regretted a single moment of the time I’ve had with you.

© Sarah Doughty

So please,
I beg you,
don’t let
this tale end.

Poetry

Limitless

“On the outside, I may seem lost —
because I am. But know this, my love,
on the inside, my love for you is limitless.”

How many times do I need to remind you that I’m resilient? My skin doesn’t bruise easy, but underneath is a different story. I still feel every broken part of me, and I fear they will remain that way forevermore. My face may appear confident, but underneath, sometimes I can’t help but scream for someone to see what lies behind my eyes. On the outside, I may seem lost, unaffectionate, and timid — because I am. No matter how much I want to reach out to you, my body remains still. But know this, my love, on the inside, this love I carry for you is limitless.

© Sarah Doughty

Please don’t ever
forget how much
I love you
and all you are.