Dec. 5, 2018

The Weight of Hope & Promise

From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


The Novelist Portent
Johnny E. Mahaffey
November 23, 2018


You are holding back four walls
with all that you've got. They are close
and pressing ever so slightly against you
and your every effort. Your legs and arms
have long grown tired, and you are so terribly
sleepy. It feels as if you will never win
against the days and the years
that press upon you.

But, suddenly,
the unexpected surprise: someone arrives!
You are not alone in the dark enclosing room
and there is light, for the first time
in years, as they kneel beside you to help
fight against the push and the turmoil
upon your soul. They pinky promise, an odd
childlike thing to do: but it's there
Their dibs placed upon you. You rest
your tired limbs every day, as you both inch
closer to the door together. You will be outside
arm in arm, hand in hand, when that day comes.

Then, suddenly,
the expected shoe drops, only six days in:
a buzzing just outside the door,
a phone set aside, gets their attention, and they go
run through the threshold out of sight.
The walls press in and you are unprepared, your hope
was up! You call and you call, but there is no one
there. It gets to your birthday, and you try
to remember the time before, the dibs upon you.

You are holding back four walls
that press ever-presently, and it goes on
for days, weeks, months, and years.
Stuck so near the door, where you can smell
and taste the air they share, sense the stars
they see, and you fight with all that you have
with your every effort. Your legs and arms
long grown numb to the lonely plight you endure.


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