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This Bag of Coal

Alienated by my past, because of my past
Carrying dark secrets across every bridge
I hide them under rocks
And I bury them in the dirt
With this bag of coal strapped to my back
While I trek and climb the mountain
On this journey, its all I know
My soul absorbs the baggage
And there it is... but I don’t see it
Neither do you
Its invisible

I have only the remains of what was
The mess that results
quick snapshots of the past
unanswered questions
With answers I don’t like
Finding the missing puzzle pieces
And putting them together

The burden of being alone
with the darkest secret
Because you never could tell
And you do what you have to do
To survive

I pick up another piece of coal
And put it in my bag

The questions flood my being
Why did I do this, how come I felt that?
And why is it that
On a beautiful spring day
When the sun warms my skin
the trees are vivid with blooming life
And the sweet aroma of spring teases my nose

Why is it crammed
with a sense of fear
And uncertainty
A vaguely suspicious 
And familiar feeling
That bad things
Are coming

It tugs on my heart every so often
But I shove it down
Not today
It’s not real
There’s no reason
You should feel this way
Grab the paranoia and shame
Collect the fear and anxiety
And twist the cap on
Tight

Even if I told
If the threats were bluffed
And it was safe to speak of
The heavy bag I carried with me
Whose heart would break among the truth?
How could I utter those dirty words?

I couldn’t in good faith
unpack my 
bags of coal
They wouldn’t fare it well
Their backs would break
Only I am strong enough
To carry this burden

What makes me different than them
What always made me different
What set me apart, a lone wolf in the night
But I could not
Invite you to join me
In the endless night
That is my life

So I continue
Alienated at the 
hands of my life
Bearing the consequences of 
the evils In this world

Until I can let it all go
Unpack it with the wind
Throw it off the cliffs
Into the ocean
Watch it sink to the bottom
While simultaneously I rise
Weightlessly into freedom

And I then take a small piece of coal
Out of my heavy bag
And this time
I leave it behind me
One by one on this path I chose
One piece at time
I let it go

My soul is tired
Back is sore
My legs are weak
But I will make it
To the top of the mountain
To freedom

Copyright © Aubrey Brown | Year Posted 2022

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