She feels anything but free


Emma Zawacki

the tallest tree outside her window, the only one visible after dark

She feels as if the world’s sorrows rest on her dainty shoulders,

Hence why she slouches when she stands.


You always hated the way her body seemed to curl in on itself,

The way she seemed to protect herself inwardly.


You’d always roll her shoulders back in an attempt to fix her posture,

Yet you never noticed just how sore they were from her empathetic tendencies. 


She feels responsible;

She feels responsible for every misfortune that she comes across—it is her responsibility to fix them.


And she feels guilty;

She feels guilty that no matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to fix everything, especially not the problems right in front of her. 


She never did quite grasp the concept of forgiving herself;

She’s always been one to want an explanation, she rarely receives closure.


While the world is at rest,

She is anything but.

Her mind is an endless cycle of pity, pondering, and people opinion’s who really, truly, don’t matter.

She is stuck in her own head.


I wish I could tell her something to ease her pain.

I wish I could wipe the tears from her stained face and tell her she is good enough for this world—just as I wish someone had done for me.


I’ve been where she lays,

Feeling trapped in a grave others say you dug.


Her very own cage made of silver—

It fools others around her into thinking she is happy stuck here.



Like she is nothing more than second-best.


A second-rate girl with nothing on her mind but the ever-burning question of how.

How is she to pretend she is okay when she spends her nights piecing herself back together?


I wish I could wrap my arms around her and reinforce the fact that she is so incredibly strong;

I’d tell her I’m proud of her for carrying the burdens of the world, I’m proud of her ability to continue, I’m proud of her for simply being.


I’d tell her it does indeed get better.

You won’t always feel the globe’s problems on your tired shoulders.