Don’t feed me dear,
Fill my life with purpose.
Don’t put a roof over my head,
Shelter my heart with your love.
Don’t lay a sheet down for me to take rest –
That term is unknown to me.
My sturdy bones are filled with stories
The dirt on my silver hair is a token of all my travels.
The defined scars on my knees are hardship’s work of art.
My curved shoulders and spine, have become a mattress to my luggage.
The loose skin on my neck and upper arms is a sign of my drained body’s constant perseverance.
My chipped chalky disproportionate teeth were stained and sculptured by borrowed meals and raw food.
The whites of my eyes have seen the sun’s true colors, and then become them.
The skin that coats me, is scaled by the currents I have lived through.
My flat feet have been flattened by my promise to never stand down.
My eyes are sunken in by witnessing how whole and indescribable living is.
The soil around each nail found its home there when I laid among it, like me it just wanted a warm crevasse to cradle in.
My body, my life, and my identity have been moulded into one – A survivor’s creation.
So dear, thank you for your care, but I won’t be needing it anymore –
It serves no purpose to me.
You’ve heard my story,
you see me living it every single day.
You know my potential – failure is not an option.
I’m thrice your age,
Have fought the most exhausting battles,
I still do.
I’m still here.
So, I beg of you, stop.
Take your pity and give it to the person in the mirror.
Cheated by their comforts,
They’ll never find themselves as I have.
They’ll never build their weapons or polish their trophies as I have.
They’ll never strengthen their being –
As I have.
I have earned my power from life, my surroundings, and the world.
I have gained so much – to the point I appear drained.
Don’t you see?
It is a sign of my undertaking,
A canvas to my environment,
The final creation coordinated by me as I decide where to scavenge next.
Let me teach you how to feel,
how to be,
how to try.
At the cost of what?
The version of reality you’ve constructed in your head.
Your thoughts can’t breathe that way,
Suffocated by your incapacity to accept them.
Pushed me past my mundane limits –
Broken my boundaries –
To open the doors of discovery.
Here, covered in the cold murky mud,
I won my battle and chose myself,
It is where I found myself.
I’ve lived in the uncleanest parts of cities,
Only rodents and insects have had it worse.
Still, I am alive,
Still, I breathe,
Still, I thrive.
I promise you, endurance has become me.
My body is accustomed to the worst atmospheres – truly unbreakable.
A phoenix of scum.
I’ve seen the worst.
I am from the worst.
Is there more for me to fear dear?
So don’t perceive me as you do.
Yes, I’m always found below you in subways, street corners, and train stations.
Yes, I reek –
I look small, fragile, and misplaced seated simply by your feet.
The feet which you stand so so tall on.
But dear, are you really?
The lower you go, the higher up you see –
The greater the view above you expand.
Once you hit rock bottom, it’s just you and the horizons –
The starts submit to you,
The constellations become yours to draw,
Connect as you wish.
Create as you choose.
Would you call this the fall or rise?
This concludes my testimony.
I’ve aced my tests,
Suffering’s trials disguised as life can’t defeat me.
No matter how hard they try
I’ve exhausted them, and absorbed nothing but lessons in the form of victory.
Leave this life with a bedazzled testimony dear,
It is yours and yours only to destroy and establish.
The power has always been with you, lying dormant.
It’s your birth-right –
Dare to take it.
Script your declaration,
Awaiting to ravel in its essence –
A pleasant excellent perfect piece of craft
An incredibly horrendous life-breaking voyage
Time is ticking towards tomorrow.
Your heartbeat vs the heartthrob of the time you have left.
Run and jump dear,
It’s the only way to fly.
Winning Article – English
Click 2022 – Creative Writing Competition
Organized by the Editorial Avenue of RACUOK