Still Soft on the Inside

I trudged through darkness,
like drying cement
I unstuck myself from everything
I thought that I meant
I smiled in the face of dangerous things
and held back tears that should have been released
I exposed my belly unceremoniously
to some of the ugliest of beasts
I carried several people’s loads on my shoulders
for miles longer than I should have done
And I realized long ago that life
is not a battle to be won
I made plans for a future
watched it fall apart
I mended and re-mended
a stitched up heart
I can only say a few things today
that I still bear all of the scars
I still can read the language
I know is written in the stars
I only know on thing for absolute sure
which is that I faced what I once shied from
And as hard as I am to knock on down
I’m still soft on the inside.
–Leah Ruthe


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