Linda M Crate
Conneautville, Pennsylvania, 2003

When her uncle killed himself, she realized she didn’t want to die. She just wanted this pain, this hell to end somehow.

A tortured soul, a wound unhealing

A sixteen year old girl who has been bullied at home and by her stepfather her entire life sits in her room; thinking about her wounds.

She wonders why she has to suffer in silence, why no one will ever listen when she speaks. She hates carving her words so deep inside herself, but no one will let her speak her truth. She is forced to live in silence.

Bullied for her heart, bullied for her shyness, bullied for her social anxiety, bullied for anything and everything including her very existence she is made to feel guilty for by her stepfather.

Years later after all that dreaming and wishing on shooting stars she realizes that she must not be good enough for her fictional father she’s always dreamed of, whisking her away into some night that doesn’t hurt this badly.

She doesn’t know how to sew up these wounds unhealing.

The past is gone, but you can still be free, if time will set you free.

She promises herself that one day this will be a past that will be forgotten. That she will be set free once she graduates and moves out of this house, and doesn’t have to see the people who caused her pain over and over and over again.

She won’t have to relive failures, she won’t have to swim in these vessels of pain constantly, she will be able to find her own path and her own light and walk to a heaven that no one thought to give her but she always deserved.

She will be the light no one ever thought to give her, the love that everyone starved her of. She thinks of this and smiles.

Free to fly tonight

Years later, and I am finally free to fly tonight. I am free to find new horizons and make them mine. I am more than my bullies ever imagined and becoming more with each passing day. I refuse to let the past define me.

I have wounds, but they helped me grow. There are days where I fall to pieces and die, but the next day I live again. Life is a journey, and I will enjoy it. I will fly many more nights.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).