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  • Melissa

The Fence I Built



I’m dying of thirst Just a few feet away from water Behind a fence Of my own making Why did I erect this fence And cordon myself off From the water my parched soul Pines for? Because more than water, Hydration, A balm for my thirsting soul, I need to stay safe. I cannot risk being Unprotected from the elements And from... the water. Maybe the water is contaminated And is just not what it appears to be. Or worse- Maybe there is just a tiny drop left at the bottom That will tickle my tongue but never quite quench me. And wait. This water is not even earmarked for me. Who am I to make use of public water, To milk society for my nurturance? And why would there even be Pure, life-giving water Available to just about anyone- Even the most undeserving of souls? Sometimes I envision the cool liquid Dripping down my parched throat Giving my shriveled self Life and vitality, Allowing me to believe That the world has enough water Even for me. And then I wonder... Should I scale the fence? Take that leap? But no. I might get to the top only to tumble down And get hit Harder than ever before. Should I dismantle the fence? Has the time come to take it down? But, No, my innards scream, Don’t! You’re not even sure the water is what you need And you’ll just remain defenseless Exposed Unprotected. And thirsty. So I tentatively peek between the slats Where I can feel the mist tease my face. It’s that close. And then, splinter by splinter, I painstakingly remove one slat Chafing my hands, Widening the gap in my armor So I can squeeze through. Panting, I inch closer The sheer effort belying the slow pace One step closer, and... I freeze, terrified. I rev up my defenses Run for cover Hastily retreat Right back through the gap. And I crouch behind The sturdy, secure fence That I built.

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