I started this poem many years ago after losing a good friend, and have since adapted it several times to reflect on other relationships. Today I re-worked it once more with every person I’ve ever attempted to change for in mind, but one, especially: my own internal critic…

I’ve read the pages of your story.
I’ve examined the words,
the inflections,
the pauses,
the silences.
I’ve made my life a study of yours.
Poured myself into a mold I thought would please you.
I thought small meant safe
and limits were love
and confinement was commitment.
But now I swell and spill and surge over the edges.
I see the sun
and I am fascinated
by its warmth,
by its light,
by the way its rays dance across my skin.
I must learn to love this new illuminated, illimitable woman.
I will no longer be the one who reads you.
I will be the one who writes.
My own story.
I move,
one tentative step after another,
toward freedom.

Rina Marie

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