Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

Blood and Fire

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Blindly making my way around sharp corners and endless dark hallways.

Grasping and reaching, desperately, for something to hold onto. Anything. Only finding empty air.

Heart pounding. Thumping in a panic fueled adrenaline.

The feelings. Fear. Anger. Angst. Sorrow.

Used. Forsaken.

Empty. Always empty.


Don’t give up. You don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep trying. You have to keep trying.

So much to lose… but was it all in my imagination?

Carefully crafted illusion?

Keep moving. Forward. Always forward.

But there’s the pull. The pull of turning back. Back to the before. To the always.

Crawl back into the fold of grim numbness.

Back to what served this life so well.

Back to the fractured smile, the hollow eyes. The carefully placed laugh.

It would be the easy way.

But now I know. I know she’s there. Buried beneath the years.

I’ve met her. I know she’s there and I don’t think I can abandon her

She. She deserves a voice… she should be seen.

She should be heard. Felt. Forgiven.



I want to allow her.

I want to take off the mask and be free.

I want to shed the cloak I never knew I wore.

What would that actually feel like?

Would I breathe?

Would I take in pure sweet air?

Or would I crumble?

Now that I realize I’ve been living in this guise

I want to rip it off so bad that I feel

Like if I don’t

I won’t be able

To breathe

For another minute.

I want to be me. Finally.

Will you let me?







5 Responses

    1. Thank you so much. This was a little but of a departure for me, something I’d written months ago. I was nervous because it’s very personal and because it’s out of my comfort zone, so I really appreciate your kind words!

  1. I’ve read this three times trying to figure out what you’re talking about behind your carefully cloaked words. I can feel the dichotomy; the angst. I saw that you wrote it a few months ago. I hope you took the mask off. I hope you feel more free. But first and foremost, this is absolutely beautiful and profound. Powerful. I’ve felt that pull before. It’s hard. *hugs*

    1. I always struggle with how much really personal stuff to share on here. This is something I wrote, kind of stream of conscious, a few months ago. I was truly scared to post it, because it’s one of the most revealing things I’ve written and because I’ve never written any type of “poetry” (or whatever this is.) The hardest part is trying to be honest and share things I’m feeling without going deeper than I’m comfortable with. I worry sometimes that sometimes it comes off as too nuanced and vague.

      Writing this and writing this blog have been helpful, therapeutic- and I feel like this is one place where I can “remove the mask” even though that wasn’t the purpose of the blog. I’m working on it in real life, too. I have realized in the last year or too that I’ve been walking through life with my true thoughts and feelings squashed, putting on a smile, determined to be “happy”. I am working on being “real” here. Other writers, like you, have inspired me and given me courage to be more real and to go deeper. I can’t tell you how much it means that you read this. And for you to say it’s powerful, honestly makes me feel overwhelmed with emotions. Thank you so much for that… *hugs* to you too…

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