I spread the mortar and placed the bricks just as I was told to do.
With a mold made of anger and hatred I built each individual bar.
Starting at the outside, I circled inward to the center.
Ring after ring. Bricks and bars beyond sight.
Decades of work on a labyrinthine prison built only for myself,
until at last I was locked in the center. Alone in my cage.
Pacing the floor, pulling at the bars, scratching the walls,
I screamed, I cried, I fell to silence, and I surrendered to the pain.
A blessed few know of my plight and work to break me free.
Hammering at my impenetrable walls they call for me to hold hope.
It has kept me alive, but I am afraid of indulging it,
for fear that it will once again be merely an illusion.
Still, I search through foggy memories of this awful place,
in wanting that I might guide my saviors through the maze.
At times I wish they would abandon their attempts.
I don’t want people hurt and lost by their efforts to find me.
I’m ashamed that I need saving from my own monstrous creation,
even if I was too young to know what I was being told to build.
These walls were all I knew. They made up my entire world.
And yet somehow, I never saw them until now.
I never knew that I had imprisoned myself in such a way.
I never knew why I so desperately felt the need to escape.
But as the light breaks through the cracks I know I must.
I’ll keep going till I am found, keep calling to those who search.
They have sacrificed for me and continue to do so.
I will not allow it to be in vain. I will not drag them in.
When the door opens I will stand, and I will walk to them.
Together we will travel to the furthest wall and beyond.
And never again will I allow myself to return to this place.
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