Hidden Strength

By: Catherine Strayhall

I’m hanging from the edge.
Nothing stands between me
and falling but my own waning strength.
What if I fall? What if I seriously hurt myself?

I tried to face my past demons,
but all I’ve done is create more.
I’ve only ever felt this scared once before.
How long have I been hanging here?
Maybe forever.

My mind narrows to a single thought:
Don’t let go.
Don’t let go.
Don’t let go.

I can’t hold on much longer.

Finally, rescue.
I act okay.
I’m not okay.
Arms aching, hands shaking.

Later: joking about it
Playing it off.
Laughter from others at the ridiculous situation.
I guess if you’ve never been stuck,
At any moment about to fall to

And to hurt,
And to humiliation,
You wouldn’t understand.

But I don’t just remember the fear.
I remember something else:
I didn’t fall.
I held onto that ledge.
I didn’t give up.
Somewhere in me,
I found the strength to not
give up.
To never give in.

And I’ll always have that memory.
When I was one slip
away from falling,