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Battle of Wills




Black and white image of a chess board before game play

“I’m fine”…


Shhh, you don’t mean that - my heart interjects 


“No, really, I’m fine” … I protest 


Why do you lie to them - my heart asks 


My head pauses to ponder a question it’s never considered while the words nestle onto my tongue waiting for their moment to speak


Because this is the way

My head responds sure of itself 


This is the way to what - my heart inquires 


This is the way to not get hurt

My head reveals as it breaks into a painful soliloquy 

This is the way to not be known 

This is the way we keep ourself safe

This is the way we protect ourself from prying eyes and judgemental mouths

This is the way 

This is the only way 


Who taught us this way - my heart yearns to know


All the people who claimed to love us before this moment

My head responds matter-of-factly 


How do we know this is the way if that was then and this is today - my hopeful heart asks 


My head lingers for a moment … choosing its words with care while tamping down the edges of malice that curl around the daggers it wishes to throw 


Because, 

My head finally speaks,

of the tears she'll cry tonight when the world is asleep

This is the way we keep her safe and once the numbness sets in you’ll understand that this way is a gift in a world not built for us


My heart takes this information in.  Feeling the icy hot grasp of numbness creeping through its veins


But - my heart begins - but what if I want a new way... 


... the last words spoken in whimpers as it tightens, hardens, and burns under the weight of expectations.  


My head remains steadfast and sure of itself. 


The words peer through the edges of my lips

Waiting patiently 


My heart’s pleas grow softer until they fall silent 


My head sighs remorsefully, 

I’m sorry my dear there is only this way


My lips part as the words pour out to serve their sacred duty 


“I’m fine”, I say with a small smile and a gentle nod


“I’m fine.”



Copyright(c) 2024 Rayven Holmes


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