The Only Trouble with Starting

By Jordan Mitchell

The only trouble with starting,

Is knowing where to begin.

Words don’t often allude me,

But when they do,

They slip through my hands like fine silk.

Leaving behind a trail of blackness

Such that I fear I’ll never return.

I don’t like the dark,

It scares me.

As a child I’d spend my nights

Lying awake, sacred.

So scared, I would shake.

I’d imagine the shadows as beings.

Lurking, stalking, waiting

Always waiting.

In the corners of my room, the recesses of my mind.

Mocking me,

As the sun begins to set,

And the light fades from existence.

Until it’s just me.

But at last, my salvation,

Just across the hall,

My sanctuary. It calls to me,

And I get up.

But, I have to cross the valley of obscurity.

I look one way, I look the other way,

And I dash.

My bare feet making no sound against the carpet.

I sneak into their room.

And they make space for me in their bed.

Already familiar with our routine.

I cringe with fear as the shadows catch up to me

But they only tell me that it’s time to rest

That I misunderstood them. And they tell me,

That they just wanted to be my friend.

They celebrated at the set of the sun

Because they only exist in the absence of light

Their time with me is limited, as we spend most of our time together asleep.

How misunderstood they are

How misunderstood we allow them to be.

I learned this as I got older

Although I often forget

So, to remember, I made myself this poem.

There is a friend

Who’s never far apart

Sometimes when you need comfort

Call on your friend the dark.

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