How I Survived It: a poem by Robyn Hammontree

The following poem is by Robyn Hammontree 


i want to tell you how i survived it

was to pick up shattered pieces

glue them back with ease and

move on

i’d like to tell you i healed exactly right

that despite all the nights of lost sleep

my heart has always been mine to keep

but what good would it do: a story so untrue

how would it help if it happened to you

so instead I’ll tell you how I really survived it

a story of brokenness

of being awoken to this misery

in hopes that you’ll hear me clearly

i survived it in silence for five days

shut out the sun’s rays

turned off my phone and sat home alone

didn’t tell a soul for months

kept the story in for years

i survived it in fear

cried ten thousand tears

worried he’d show up here

and he did

i survived it by staying

by asking him to go away and when he didn’t

praying god would forgive me for being so weak

for not having the courage to seek help

i survived it enraged

feeling trapped in a cage

with hot showers lasting hours

and nights spent in closets

wondering what I’d said to cause it

i survived it in moments

with one step forward and two steps back

and just when it seemed like I was on track

panic attacks

i survived it in deep breaths

so that when my chest would tighten

and i’d be frightened i wouldn’t make it

i survived it by surviving it

by deciding not to quit

that no matter how the end looked

that this wasn’t it

i survived it with grace

by giving myself space to make mistakes

and learning how to write how I feel

by not erasing what’s real

i survived it with love

of friends and family and a man who treated me

like the warrior i had become

even before the battle was won

he said you’re surviving it

you’re alive and that’s

the greatest victory

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