Maryvale Muse

Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

Lyssa Kagel '20

Ashes of yesterday
Float into tomorrow
Impossible to control
Gray glimpses of memories past
Floating and sifting
Poisoning everything they touch
Leaving behind the demarcation
Of what has been
And what must always be

Impossible to brush away,
They cling tighter
To what is clean and white
Attracted to the purity
The beauty
The simplicity
Of a new chance

These ashes are my past
Memories of what has been
Regrets barely forgotten
Scabs picked at to often
Silver locks on a coffin

They won’t stay in the past
As part of the memories they were part of
Because I burned them

Burned at the stake
Like false witches in a time
When being different was enough to get you killed

Burned with enough heat and fury to be completely destroyed
Within a matter of moments

Everything old
Was burned
In a hope that starting anew would give me something to hold onto
A solid platform to stand on
Rather than set fire to
A life worth living for the sake of seeing tomorrow
And looking back on yesterday
And smiling
Rather than cowering
In fear of what I’d done

But as hard as regret was to ignore
It was caught in its web of memory

One scene of my life in the past that I could say
Never happened

But ashes are so much harder to ignore

The cling and they clutch with nothing but the future to hold onto
And so the past follows
As I walk out of the flames
Into the new beginning I have made
Out of uncertainty
And smoke
And ashes

The past never leaves
It clings harder the harder it’s pushed away
But I can learn to live with that

Learn to live with the marks of my past that have created me
Into what I am today
Not afraid to burn my past
No afraid to walk into the future
Accompanied by only ashes

We never get a clean slate
A true re-start
Our past always finds a way to stay

But instead of hiding behind that cloud of smoke
Those blinding ashes
Those solid memories
I will wear them
As battle scars and armor and memories of what I’ve been through

I’m not restarting
I don’t want to
The ash on my clothing marks what I have been through
Not what it has made me into
The fire in my eyes marks what I have accomplished
Not what haunts my dreams
And the smoke in my hair
Marks the fragileness of what has existed
Not what I exist as

As I walk out of the fire
That has been my past
I take with my the ashes
Of what I’ve put to rest
To remind me of the strength in rebelling against all that is known
The strength in refusing to forget my past and all that it has forged me into

Fire creates ash
But fire also creates light

A light in which I’ve chosen to see
Not my new beginning,
But my next step
Because my past makes me who I am
Starting over would be denying everything that I am
A new beginning would destroy everything that I am
I am happy with everything that I am

Like a Phoenix reborn from the ashes of the past
Into something completely new
And innocent
And beautiful
Fires engulfs everything I have been
Creating from me
Ashes
And a future worth burning for
A future worth fighting for
A future worth flying for

So as I burn the mistakes of my past
I light the possibilities of my future
And I wear the ashes of what has been
As armor for what will come

Navigate Left
  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Fiction

    My Invisible City: The City of Yezaki

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    World In Our Hands (January 2017 Contest, Honorable Mention)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    Growing My Mountain (January 2017 Contest, Honorable Mention)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    Monarch Butterfly and Dog (January 2017 Contest, Third Place Winner)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    Untitled (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    Submersion (January 2017 Contest, Second Place Winer)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    My Friend (January Contest 2017, Honorable Mention)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    a concept: me (January Contest 2017, Honorable Mention)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    i know (January 2017 Contest, Third Place Winner)

  • Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)

    Contests

    Untitled (January 2017 Contest, Second Place Winner)

Navigate Right
The Literary Magazine of Maryvale Preparatory School
Ashes (January 2017 Contest, First Place Winner)