Ashley Wilda


Author: ashley (page 1 of 18)


it has been the crappiest week of all

crappy weeks and I

am having trouble feeling

anything but heavy.

the coldness of a doctor’s scrutiny

the sharp words of a friend I relied on

the slipping away of someone changing too fast

the unexpected reprimand of a manager

and to top it all off

nothing can be worse than telling your mother

some days you’ve prayed to die

while the cool rain pours down

hurricane leftovers

drowning the worms on the driveway.

but I’m here in my usual spot

leaning against a doorframe

bare feet on warped wood floor

singing to the King with a house full

of other broken, messy people

who call him Dad.

I open my palms and sing

I am not afraid, I am not afraid

I will sit on top of my cage and sing

let my voice be heard

all I have to do

all I have to do is sing.

I trust you, God, I say in my mind.

I trust you.

singing and crying. standing and

leaning. leaning and

sitting. silence. eyes

closed. listening.

singing again. praying. pleading.


I decide to trust that He

loves me.

no matter how dark it is.

because if He does, then that




it does.

and in a moment, He shows me

a life without you.

a life where, if I let Him

He will bring me someone to love

someone who will love me

and I will feel whole.

but He gives me a choice.

love is never wrong.

love is one of the few things we

get to decide.

and I. love. you.

I shake my head.

no, I say. I choose him. I love him.

God nods. okay then, He says to me.

Let’s go.

He’s smiling, reaching out a hand

to me.

and for the first time in a forever long time

I take it.

Okay, I say. Let’s go.

and behind him is a whole, bright, beautiful



that He has

for me

regardless of whether you’re in it.

I hope you will be.

I will always miss you.

but I’ve taken the hand of a God

who loves me

and my life is worth living

just because it’s mine

and He gave it to me.

and in that moment–I feel

something leave me.

I am

l i g h t e r

I can lift my feet, and I do so

over and over again

because something that was gluing me

to the ground isn’t there anymore.

in my minds eye I feel

wings begin to sprout from my shoulderblades

and grow, and grow

until they are FULL, big, feathered, strong

beautiful wings.

and in my minds eye I move them

and they feel good

and I am smiling.

I. have. wings.

and I still have love too.

I didn’t have to leave you behind.

I never did.

the choice was never mine

but yours

and still is.

I feel like someone has just open

the door of my cage my dark

prison cell and I have finally chosen

to walk out.

I have this insane thought of what now

it doesn’t feel real

depression has been my full-time occupation

and now I’ve got to find another job.

I realize, like any survivor

some days I will feel like I am back in that cage

even though I am not.

freedom takes time to sink in

even with wings.

and if someday the dark takes me captive again

I’ve got a Love-Warrior-King to bust me out.

and in the very, very end, I can never stay there.

it’s not all unicorns pooping butterflies

not all rainbows and pots of gold

I’m still walking through a rainstorm wishing

you were here

and love will long forever

it’s in its nature, I suppose

but hey, with wings there’s still a lot

that a girl can do

isn’t there!

light is coming

I sat in the chair in the middle of the room

excited and afraid as others

laid hands on me

nearly two months ago in my memory

but it feels like yesterday.

the words spoken through them

lifted me up and made every

molecule in my body take up

war with its neighbor.

I feel like there are two people inside you

fighting to take over, said one.

you might be one, or the other

or neither, or both

but they are fighting.

another said, I feel like there is something

you must lay down, let go, and letting go of it

will be excruciating

but there is strength on the other side.

they were right.


I drove home in the dark

my insides battling it out

my mind trying to push away the need

to understand what my heart had known


to be true.

I have to finish the battle.

I have to lay it down.

but what?

I’d asked God, and it isn’t

loving you–

thank goodness, I never wanted it to be.

but still, it remained, something

and that something was killing me.


it ran me over like a freight train careening

off track

I had to let go of the belief that I cannot

have a future if you’re not in it.

that I would never be

happy again.

that my life would have no


I could hold on to loving you

I would always miss you

always have a piece missing

but I had to stop choking myself

to death.


I screamed.

I drove down the highway

and screamed.

because it was excrutiating

thinking about living without you

thinking about being happy without you

thinking about loving you my whole life

and maybe still finding value in that life.

but I screamed out the war

I screamed out the untruth

and when all the noise was gone

through tears I could see

love remained

and it wasn’t as heavy as before.


laughter and night wind

a rush of emotions blowing through me

remembering what hope feels like

tumbling out into the grass

lying on my back

mind reeling, reeling

seeing the stars again

feeling incomprehensible and yet

like some things could still

make sense


like being locked in a cold, dark room

alone, days

on end

forgetting there’s anything

outside of it

and someone whispers–

hold on

light is coming.


Beads of new blood on my knuckles

The silence of crickets before dawn

Mist on the driveway, the lingering night

Tells no secrets

I wish I could slip through the mist

On muffled feet

Lie down beside you somewhere

Safe and warm

I ask sleep to welcome me back into its arms

The way it used to, curling up

Inside me, but only sometimes

It complies.


the chart asks me to circle how often

I feel this way

boiling all my emotions down to a bunch

of sterile numbers.

it makes me angry, this chart

because it somehow makes me feel ashamed

of being me.

in the end the sum just reads


and that’s all anyone will see.

she says I should talk to someone.

I say I don’t want to

I’ve done enough.

she says I’ll have to come back in a month

and I know I won’t show up.

a list of numbers I’m supposed to call

appointments I’m supposed to keep

all I came for was something

to make the days a little easier

but apparently you can’t get help

without all the baggage that comes with

well-meaning people.

I turn up the radio, pop-punk pumping

press my bare foot against the speaker just to

feel the thump of the bass

to feel anything but this.

don’t they know they make it too hard

when all I want is to disappear?

to not go through this alone?

my heart calls out where are you where are you where are you

I roll the window down, choose the next

louder song but

the volume is maxed out

it’s not enough

I’m not enough

I feel sicker than before I went.


I am sometimes afraid

that when you look at me

you feel nothing at all

when I am feeling

everything at once.

I am sometimes afraid

that when you turn away

it means that I’m not

worth fighting for.

I am sometimes afraid

when I let you walk away

that you’ve forgotten

all you have to do

is speak

and I will stay.

now you know

I say I think you know when you love someone

when it doesn’t matter what they can give you

what they do or don’t do.

it comes from knowing who they are.

he says that’s a cute



he doesn’t believe me.

I know it’s complicated.

I know it sounds too simple to be real.

but I’ve found it to breathe true.

and if you ever wonder when you look at me

if I still love you

now you know.

river call

the river is my most constant friend

I turn to its waters before I would seek

the shelter of arms not yours

I still love it when it rages

it still loves me when I weep

I smile when its banks bloom

it harmonizes when I sing

I cast wishes on pebbles

fingertips find halves of shells in soft mud

the green wind song of the trees

holds me as best it can

cool water kisses my skin

reminds me that I’m awake

I speak your name into the sweet air

and it is not lost

a thunderclap booms like a gift

and I wish you were here to welcome

the warm wild wind with me

to not have to choose

whenever I left you after talking into the night

I balanced the curb of the sidewalk on bare feet

arms out

toes pointed

suspended between my side of the street and yours.

it paralleled the way my life felt like a tightrope walk

one one side my faith

and on the other side, you

and I tottered in between, wanting so badly

to fall straight into your arms

and help you believe too.

even after silence began its reign

I still have been walking that cold, rough line

on one side loving you

on the other side living my life

and hating every step

made harder by wondering

do you still love me?

does God still love me?

do I still love myself?

just a little girl in the dark wanting to be held.

now I’m wondering if I remember

that God loves you as much as He loves me


and will be faithful to love you

and give you every opportunity

every day

to see him as close and real

and undeniable

then perhaps I can stop being so scared.

perhaps I can just remember that you cared

and might still.

perhaps I can believe that God

loves me wholly.

loves the way I love.

lets me choose to love.

never forces but asks.

and is proud of me.

somehow, impossibly

proud of me.

maybe I’ll come to hate myself less.

hate life less.

maybe I can walk this line without

skinning my knees and stumbling blind.

maybe one day this line will be obliterated forever

you’ll take my hand again

take the risk of a yes

and I won’t have to choose.


I wish I could perform an incantation

a spell to keep you safe

designs drawn in chalk on rough wooden floor

miniature rose-colored candles

the sweet fragrance of longing

something I could be sure would work

but of course such wards

only exist in magical tales

and recently I’ve become afraid

I’m not living in one

only you can tell me


it sometimes seems unfair

that your avoidance

the radio silence

doesn’t make me hate you

but hate myself

because as I’ve said before

once you really know someone

love them

you can’t

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