By Jan Martin Smith
The feel of the metal on her arm, the biting of the steel. If she pulls hard, the skin rolls up on her wrist, the bones scream. She is chained to the wall.
Her wrist bones are gaunt, and her hand shows the wear of time. There are scars from times come and gone. These hands have caressed a weary brow, they have clasped to a child who may have otherwise ran into the way of danger. These hands have pressed into her eyes and pulled her own hair. These hands have flailed the air, and been raised to heaven to understand why. They have been fists and they have been chewed until they bled.
But nothing is like the feel of the metal against her arm, the restraint that has come and gone with time. With her eyes closed she can feel the affliction that put them there, that she self imposed upon her soul. She can see the vow that she made and to which she adhered her entire life. The glint of the sun from the chains that bind can also blind. Your eyes can not see, will not see.
She rests on that wall. She leans into it, she knows it well. She has beaten it with those hands, and she has clawed it until weary, she has tried to climb it to no avail, she is chained to it, of her own mind. She is afflicted.
There are times when the chains of the wall are longer, are looser, but they are forever upon her arms, her wrist that is scarred and worn. She has pulled at it until the blood ran warm down her and she dipped her fingers in the pool and marked her face as a warrior would, and bravely continued on in her battle for life, for sanity and more.
No one can understand this dance or this wall. No one can see the affliction, she smiles and she laughs, the mocking laugh of one who sees the world through eyes that are wise from knowledge obtained from blood and pain.
On the given day, when she puts the key into this shackle and she is released, she will float to the top, and go high, high away, and be free of the affliction and the pain and the blood shed from her heart and soul to abide by a promise and a vow that to her mattered. She walked on a path less traveled, yes, she read the fucking book. Not a martyr, but rather afflicted to the end.
On the halfway journey, she thought that she was okay, on the halfway journey, the assessment was that it was okay. It was not. So, lean into it. Keep your armor on, and find what you can for now. This is your choice. No one holds the key but you.