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once she was thirteen years old
and her life was set, the boy of her dreams
would be her first love, her first, her first lesson.
by the time she was twenty one,
she was burned, broken, belittled,
but still held that love and deemed it a blessing.
it wasn’t.
once she was twenty two years old,
watching life unfold but on a determined road
to get a college degree but it came with a choice,
there’s a price for that hard work, a price
to be that free.
then she had dreams that weren’t meant for sleeping,
work had come and go but that artist mentality was who she was.
love came and went, none for the keeping but
then, she had fallen in love and everything erased,
it became the first time all over again,
but for the first time. let go with a painful kiss
because another held his heart over his mind.
then sickness fell upon her, and for the first time
her hope turned everything black and white,
color was hard to find when they told her
finality would inevitable end this fight.
then it was three years later, still making art,
trying to make a change. the path she drew for herself
not taken, plans diverted, the absence of what she wanted
but then, she found love where love didn’t find her.
she lost so many friends along the way and found some
she would lose her life for. fight for.
even in their absence, she would lay her life down for them
because without them, something broke, something tore.
that love changed her and lingered but she found love again.
yes, for the last time. she opened up a distrustful and broken heart,
she found a mutual future until winter swept in, froze her future
until they broke apart.
soon the future will be here, will she be settled and comfortable,
alone because she can’t get close to anyone,
broken because those friends were better at being gone
then she was at getting them to stay,
keeping family close but also at bay,
dedicated to her voice being spoken through art,
would her future find the missing piece
to a tired heart? would her future get her closer
to everything she wants or would she have what she needs,
mask it for want, and still feel completely empty,
comfortable in the silence because at least there,
it made sense why she felt so alone.

-Allison Ryder