The Price of Survival

Two of a kind; brothers in pain

Longing for sun, or even the rain

But locked in the dark, my soul is near blind

Yet you tell stories of the days left behind

 

“Remember back when we walked in the gardens.”

“Remember the long nights at the fire we’d warm.”

“Remember that one girl that claimed both our hearts?”

“And remember me when the vultures swarm.”

 

Time and again, time passed us by

Suffering in shadows, slowly we die

Dreams or memories, the chains form rust

Yet you tell the stories, I continue to trust

 

“Remember back when we walked the frontlines.”

“Remember when you first gripped a shield?”

“Remember that one child we helped across the mountains.”

“And remember to bury me in the west field.”

 

Thunderous laughter sounds in the night

“Awaken the captives!” call men in pale light

I coward away as they strike, you scream

“When you get out, remember me!”

 

In the struggle, the guard dropped his keys

And after you left, I reached out with ease

Unlocked, the chains dropped away

And I stood to full height, weak and frayed

 

As the party above gave way to your end

I escaped the dungeons I had lived with my friend

Out of the castle, and into the night

I walked the sands, still filled with fright

 

I stumble on weak legs to a nearby town

Hoping to any god I won’t be let down

If it belongs to the enemy, I’ll die within

Rather than return to the hell I’ve been in

 

The bells ring, and men shout from the gate

In a blurry gaze, I await my fate

But relief stabs my chest when I recognize the crest

A town of allies; my mind can now rest

 

I’m welcomed in as a hero returned

But as physical wounds recover, the invisible burned

The day has no sun, and the moon remains hid

Why did I survive when you should have lived?

 

Out of us both, you were the real hero

When my will was weak, you kept hope aglow

So why was I spared while you suffered their wrath?

Or am I wrong in seeing this path..?

 

Perhaps my survival is far beyond worse

To be alive, and still live with the effects of the curse

The more I think about it, the more I think I am right

That you were the one granted mercy that night

 

Death is too kind for a coward like me

So I will continue to live, continue to be

Always remembering my friend, and his deprival

Never forgiving myself for survival.

 

 


 

This is a poem I wrote while coming to terms with the guilt I myself have. Being a survivor of a traumatic event, I know first hand what goes on in the brain during the aftermath.

This poem was written as if it took place in a past time, but the damage and wounds portrayed are the same as it would be in the modern day.

If anyone who reads this is also a survivor, please don’t let the lies take over. Your life is worth the same as anyone else. And whatever happened was not your fault.


Mitch

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