it's not a battle | Teen Ink

it's not a battle

March 3, 2021
By piperw811 PLATINUM, Pittsford, New York
piperw811 PLATINUM, Pittsford, New York
29 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"chemistry between people is the strangest science of all" - Bridgett Devoue

I’m over the metaphor of

life as a battle because

not everyone lives their life on the front lines

of a war zone


some of us are more like a

clara barton, rushing around

and making a difference

slyly in the shadows

helping anyone and everyone in need


some of us are the wounded,

those being helped

we were on the front lines

but we’re out of commission and

we need help but

if you only focus on those on

the front lines then

we’ll never get out there

and we’ll be stuck in the tents with

our wounds threatening to suffocate us


some of us are cowards

and we won’t admit it but we are

the front is intimidating and we’ll

have to face it someday but

we aren’t ready yet

to suffer pain and loss and traumatic stress


and then there are those of us who

reside on the home front

who are just as strong because

we worry for those who are fighting

we worry for the nurses, wounded, and cowards alike

and it doesn’t matter which one

our loved one is because

they’ll all come home changed in one

way or another, for better or for worse


the metaphor lies

it’s not a battle; it’s more like

a cycle – a laundry machine

that picks us up and swirls us around in hopes that

someday we will be clean enough

and the machine doesn’t care

if we get hurt so

we must look out for each other

as we tumble through the suds


it’s more like a sledding hill

where the journey is the important

piece because it makes the

ride down elating

but once you ride that

high you have to suffer at the low

until you are low so often that

you begin to appreciate life

from a different perspective

and then you begin to climb again because

the top of the hill and

the high riding down is too

wonderful to ignore


and even in the summer the

hill is perfect because

not everyone sees it as a sledding hill

and some lost soul who needs a rest

may see the hill as a bed

and lie on the side, staring up at the

infinite sky, contemplating the

ephemeral life we’ve been granted

as they relax their lungs and inhale

a feeling of fleeting numbness

because sometimes it’s easier than adventure


fighting a war happens to

all of us but it’s not all life has to offer to us

sometimes we need to sled down the hill

and sail along with that high

but other times it’s all you can do

to take a minute and relax

and allow yourself a minute

of clarity and calmness


just lie on the hill and

focus on your unprecedentedness

because you are alive and

you don’t have to be sledding or fighting

during every waking moment

like the stories tell you

you should reach your hand towards the sky

whether it’s a crisp winter blue or

a mild grey, dotting your sweater with raindrops

because reaching towards ambiguity

is startlingly grounding

and may be the push you need to

keep going whether you’re

taking a break from your fight

or overwhelmed with worry


and you deserve a break sometimes

because it’s not a battle

and you are allowed to relax

without fear of crumbling to the ground

The author's comments:

I've always hated the saying that life is a battle because while I understand where it comes from, life isn't just a battle. It's more than that and I really tried to express that in this poem. I hope you enjoy it.

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