AN EMOTIONAL WAIT
By Cheyenne Boyer Foor
A note from Liza Wiemer: A little over a year ago, I met Cheyenne at a high school where I gave some workshops connected to my YA novel, Hello?. Last week, she shared this poem with me. It’s powerful, insightful, meaningful and I have no doubt, many can relate to this beautiful, heartfelt poem. The moment I read it, I knew Cheyenne’s words needed to be read by others. It’s a privilege to share AN EMOTIONAL WAIT on my blog.
White birch trees line the path so bright
Their bark glints sliver in evening light
Silent winds rustle whispering leaves
Autumn says goodbye and the land grieves.
As I stumble upon this educational lane
My hopes and dreams I try to retain
But winter is bleak and this road is harsh
Like lilly’s struggling in an overgrown marsh.
I trudge on..my troubles never far from mind
Shadows cling under my eyes and I pray
That the next curve in my life be kind.
Valleys so deep, their dark and dank
My mind is threatening to overtake
I hurry on, determined to fight this one mistake.
This road is lonely
The trees are thick
but up ahead…is that a break?
I hurry ahead…I am so alone..
This road I am on is not well known.
Look! The trees are disappearing
Up ahead…snow capped mountains!
I should be glad that I leave that forest
But the road uphill..sigh..
Will the journey be kind?
I am lost in thought as I taste the air
Bitter cold winds…lost in despair
Where are those that said they would always be here?
The road leads on, all I can do is follow
And hope my mind will survive this sorrow.
Up this mountain with it’s stealing winds
I’m reminded of my many sins.
My troubles are great as I grow weary
I look about, as the weather grows dreary.
The pack on my back that I have carried
Are all my troubles that I should have buried.
Sitting down, I look around
This path I walk is overgrown.
I look at my pack, the one I hate,
And wonder at its emotional weight.
I reach in and discard one thought
The weight is less…
is it all for naught?
Just as I round the very next bend
There stands one of my very best friends.
Where were you in the dark forest gloom?
My friend says nothing but points to an empty classroom.
Warmth and kindness beckons me
I rest my shoulders and rub my knee.
My friend says nothing, she looks haggard as well.
This road less traveled has been sheer hell.
We sit silently lost in thought
The lessons we’ve learned, the ones we’ve been taught.
My pack, so heavy sits by the door
And I wonder what is in it that I’ve been fighting for,
My back is rested
My feet less sore
It’s time to move on, there is more.
My friend looks up,
A smile…nothing more..I see her pack
My faith restored.
The mountain top is close at hand
And I am reminded why life is so grand.
The sun is shining, the winds not so harsh..
My friend was there..when I needed her most.
I adjust my pack and I trudge on
I know not what I will come upon.
As I walk, the sun soon sets
And leaves me in shadows that I’d rather forget.
A river ahead..it’s waters so deep
With stones so sharp
They cut my feet.
Why! I cry in utter despair.
I have come upon my Junior year…
I stand in swirling black waters
The current is strong
My reserve falters.
My pack of troubles is taking on water
I can’t breath…I must make it lighter!
I reach into the waterlogged pack,
And draw out a memory, the tears I fight back.
I drop it into the watery depths far below
The waves toss it to and fro.
I watch it sink out of sight
Suddenly I laugh at my ridiculous plight.
The river seems calmer, serene almost
Not as wide, gliding like a ghost.
I quickly make it to the other side
I look back at my path and smile with pride.
I have made it through valleys and forests so dark,
I have climbed mountains so steep.
And forged rivers too deep
I let my mind wander to my friend so kind,
Her pack so large
Is she so far behind?
She has not yet made it to the river’s edge
I can see the path clearly etched
Will she conquer her fear as I?
Or will the bleak waters
Steal her mind?
I must trudge on for this path is less traveled
There are not many whose minds unravels.
It’s lonely here, but peaceful to
Here I can be me, and you can be you.
I have rested too long,
It is time that I’ve gone..
I pick up my pack and turn towards the sun…
my path less traveled is far from done.
I walk in meadows with birds in flight
Flowers and their fragrance, senses delight.
My pack is lighter, my troubles less heavy
The air is thin, my path less scary…
I reflect on my struggle
The pack I carry
I lower my head…truly humble
Those that said they would be there
They said my problems they would bare,
My confidants I confined
They have not come I’ve been defrauded..
Where are they now
On my path less traveled?
No…they took their leave when I fell into shadow.
I look up and see the sands ahead
A desert so vast
It fills me with dread.
My pack I drag through dunes alone
I have reached my end
I can go no more
Like on the mountain top long before.
I drop my pack
I leave it behind
All these troubles that have corrupted my mind.
There I lie
With the sand as my bed
I wonder at length is this the end?
My road less traveled has disappeared
Much like my friends…my greatest fear.
I raise my hand to shield my eyes
The sun is so hot
Yet, I cannot rise
When I awoke I looked about
No stranger, no friend but there was my pack
But how could this be
How has it found its way back to me?
The air is clouded with a heavy mist
Dark and unforgiving
The silence persists
With trepidation I glance at my pack
I shiver at its bulk, I don’t want it back!
Slowly I reach
And pull it near
This road less traveled wasn’t my only fear
I look around again and to my surprise
The stranger that led me here was by my side
They motioned for me to open my pack
Just a shadow in the dark that could see through the black
No! I shout, I won’t carry it anymore!
But the stranger stood fast,
Taunting me to explore.
I looked down at my feet and counted my toes
This stranger wasn’t leaving
This path held more.
So I opened the pack that I did carry
The one my friends said they’d help me bury.
The very same pack with all the despair
The tears and scars that I had hidden in there
I expected to see the razor blades that cut so deep
The words that were flung used to beat
The tossed inside shards of glass
Broken pieces of my past.
A silent scream, a tear I shed
I gasp for air as I shake
The stranger spoke
the words so dear
my best friend’s voice said so clear..
“Though my troubles were heavy,
I picked up your pack, though my soul was weary
and took your troubles and held them closely.
All those times throughout those years
where you felt alone
and shed those tears
when friends were cruel
and the stakes were high
when you wanted to quit
or just “get by”
Those days when you thought you’d lose your head
when darkness threatened and you wished for death.
When shadows taunted
and your dreams were haunted,
you stuck it all into this pack
and carried this load on your aching back.
keep the memories and see life through
because I lost the fight when I carried it for you.”
What did you learn?
Nobody can carry you, you must carry yourself.