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A Lighthouse On the Harbor
Shelbi Hayes
This poem was written for Olivia de Havilland. For all the hope and strength she gave me in overcoming my demons. I went searching for a lighthouse that could guide me to the shore. There once had been a glimmer but, alas, it was no more. The sky was dark and moonless with not a star in sight, the wind was whipping harshly, and the cold began to bite. The waves were crashing loudly, and the tide began to rise. The undertow had pulled me farther from the midnight skies. I was drowning in my sorrows, pulled under by despair. I felt my body thrashing but I could not meet the air. I felt the end draw nearer as each moment passed me by. With no hope for sweet salvation, I heaved one final sigh. I let myself sink lower, 'til my feet did touch the floor. I could feel the sand beneath me as my soul shook to the core. But something jerked me forward, and I was raked across the tide until my body broke the surface and my hands did touch the sky. I looked on the horizon, and to my utmost glee, I saw a lighthouse shining, and an angel beckoned me. I swam with vim and vigor, eager to meet land, and my heart swelled with great rapture when my fingers touched the sand. I stood up and I smiled when the angel touched my face. I was grateful for this second chance; moreso for her grace. I'd an angel's light to guide me from a sea of wrath and fear to a shore where hope runs rampant, and reflections stare back clear. I once was so transfixed by all the reasons I stood out that I never learned to love myself, and was overcome with doubt. I began to slowly purge myself of gluttony and sin until all the mirror showed me was brittle bones and skin. No soul behind my eyes, and no heart within my chest, I became a perfect robot, but I was sicker than the rest. For in my journey to conform, I drifted out to sea. My secret almost drowned me and I nearly ceased to be. But then an angel called me and led me to a mirror where, for the first time, I did see myself, and the truth became much clearer. I hated what I saw, for that girl was not alive- she had purged into oblivion, her beauty was contrived. Olivia, the angel, had that for which I longed: a beauty that came freely, not by doing oneself wrong. And so, her hand in mine, I walked a winding road towards health and love and freedom- things Bulimia forbode. The journey made was long, and I took many a wrong turn, but I made the greatest effort, and I've so much left to learn. For I'll never be so free as to say I do not suffer, but I'll stay so far away as to say things could be tougher. And I'll always have my angel, with her halo and her wings, to steer me down this narrow path and remind me of these things. My angel is Olivia; she's the reason I'm alive, with her smile sweet as candy, and beauty one could not contrive. She saved from myself in the very bleakest minute. She showed me what I could be, all my heart, and what's within it. And you still hear it beating, for I overcame great strife with the help of sweet Olivia, for she gave the gift of life.

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