The Same Dead End

I pound my fist against the chain link fence–
Anger boiling up into a scream of rage.
Again and again and again,
I’m at this same dead end.

It’s all familiar territory.
We circle round and round,
And it always leads here.
I’m at this same dead end.

I can’t force it to yield.
It’s always too tall to climb.
Work smarter, not harder, right?
But I’m at this same dead end.

You look at me as if I have a clue.
Why aren’t you the one
Figuring out how to get through?
I’m at this same dead end.

I can’t, or I won’t–
Which one is it?
I can’t move your mountains for you.
I’m at this same dead end.

I’m not looking to you to fix it all
And I can’t do that for you.
Co-broken and co-stuck,
I’m at this same dead end.

In a fit of anger, I pound and pound again.
Too sharp, too high, too much–
This damn fence is in my way.
I’m at the same dead end.

Hopeless? Bone-weary? Soul-crushed?
Yes–all that and more.
I run, I leap, I try to climb.
I’m at the same dead end.

“Enough! Enough! Enough!”
I scream.
“Unlatch the gate! Tear down the wall!”
Am I at the same dead end?

I see a crack in the solid wall.
The dam, it must come down.
The river’s been held back too long.
Is the valley even still there?

Release the waters
And let their force be known.
Release the power
And let it all pour out.

This fence that bars my way–
Take it down!
I scream, I kick, I crumble.
Will I be at the same dead end?

The force that pulses through me
Pounds at the wall of my chest.
These words that shake my mind–
Will they accept the dead end?

You have your mountains and I have mine.
How can we climb as one?
I feel the hope–it’s just out of reach.
Here we are–the same dead end.

I don’t accept this.
I won’t let it go.
This isn’t the final act–the end of the journey for me.
So, I hate this same dead end.

I hate this fence that bars my way.
I hate the dam that thinks too much of itself.
Rivers, words–forces nothing can contain–
So, I hate this same dead end.

Screaming seems the only relief,
For my cage-worn mind and heart.
Freedom sounds so good, and so terrible.
So, I hate this same dead end.

Unleash the river of untamed waters–
Splashing and unafraid.
Crash down into your rightful path!
Find your bed and break through.

Churning behind your concrete wall–
Finally, a glimpse of relief.
Take it down and take it all!
Pour out your furious life!

I feel it all, along with the river.
I long to find the crack, the latch, the key.
I long to raze this horrid wall.
Not bound to the same dead end.

This Red Tent woman has requested to remain anonymous. We applaud her courage to risk sharing this part of her story with our community. It is our privilege to honor and protect her identity.