Bret Lunder / Grade 11


I wonder why you hold me back and why you insist I keep quiet while absorbing all the noise around me, letting the painful whispers behind me affect me. Every other part of me has the urge to move forward with the momentum of a runner pushing through the plastic ribbon that is the finish line. But you tend to hold every last one of those parts back with a leash stretchy enough to me allow me to see what could have been. You are the fence separating me from myself. You hold me back—because you are me. You are shyness and a voice in my head telling me don’t.

But I love you, because you are me, and your presence defines my identity. Like a hole in a beautifully painted yellow wall waiting to be filled up. I am just waiting for you to conform to my beautifully painted existence. With you I am like a horse, nervously shuffling its feet as each step sinks into the wet mud. Its legs, as if each muscle had been defined by the end of a black pen, move side to side not yet knowing their place. Its huge eyes take in every detail of its surroundings, filling the void, before the old constraining metal gates clang open and its legs find their rhythm, its soul set free. And it has been a nice journey. But like a horse, this part of me will be let free. Like a poem, revised one last time so that it is written into perfection.