TENDER WORDS
by Dayna Lellis   Shroud of StubbornnessThe quicksand is devouring her.
She’s struggling, sobbing for help.
I rush to pull her to safety.
She refuses to take my rope.I scramble to find other options.
I offer her rope after rope.
“Please grab one! You’re dying!”
“None are the one I want!”I sprint to get the village elders.
They gather, offering their advice.
The rope she desires is difficult to find.
None of us can procure it in time.The chaos has turned into silence.
We wait to see her next move.
Will she decide to save herself?
Or will stubbornness be her shroud?   Tender Words“I am proud of you. I love you.”
Elle spoke these words
to the woman staring back at her.
The woman softly cried because she
rarely heard such tender words.
Elle wiped away her tears
as she walked away from the mirror.   Where All My Sins BeginHow long will it take me,
using my nails to dig,
to find that place inside of me
where all my sins begin?Will I find an inferno,
scorching hot with hate?
Fed by my inadequacy
and laments that life is bleak?Will I find a scared child,
neglected for years on end?
Compelled to lie and steal so
society’s lusts can be appeased?My Turn to RideIt gallops closer each year.
I must wisely use this time.
I will not be saddled
by unpursued dreams
when my turn to ride arrives. All My TomorrowsAs I reminisce about my yesterdays,
I pray that their lessons will live
in all my tomorrows.       About the Author:Dayna LellisDayna Lellis graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2013 and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014. She works as a middle school teacher in New York and writes in her spare time. Several of her poems have been published in Valley Voices: A Literary Review, The Voices Project, and Voice of Eve.    
   

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