By: Danielle Wilson

The words burrow

Deep inside me

Into my bones and my cells

And wait like a virus

For me to get weak and tired.

Then, they float back up to the surface

To whisper in my ear,

“You’re not good enough.”

“You’re not strong enough.”

“You can’t handle this.”

It’s hard not to listen.

Sometimes I believe them.

That hole is deep and dark.

The words are always there waiting.

I can’t ever get rid of them.

Apologies can’t cure their infection.

But I can eventually fight them off and pull myself back out.

I think about how I have been alone. How I have started each new journey with my own two feet.

So I know how to put one foot in front of the other,

To lean into the wind and press forward,

even when it hurts and I am unsure.

These thoughts make me feel strong.

I can fight their words with my own because I know my whole story,

And it’s the lowest points of it that have revealed who I am.

I am more than they say I am.

I just have to remember it.

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