The Artist

By Lexi Duddy (‘21)

You picked up a brush
And rather than words
Wrote with your heart
Expressing what you saw
In a whole new light

But life told you this was child’s play
Nothing more
There was a limit
An end
Eventually you would have
To give it all up

You grew
And like a self-fulfilling prophecy
Laid your brush down
More and more
And picked up a gun instead

Your heart hid itself away
A child’s ambition all but forgotten
You saw horror, agony, famine

The hidden world laid bare
And came out forever changed

You became lost, confused
Your view of life
Sullied beyond recognition
You couldn’t find yourself
Let alone other people

And then it appeared
A hope, a purpose
You nurtured, cultivated, watched it grow
Helped it through hardship and through happiness
Held it in the palm of your hands
And kept it from the world you had once seen

And it thrived

It thrived in a way that left you awestruck
Reeling in its wake
It glowed, really glowed
Casting light in even the darkest corners of your life

And suddenly it struck you
A cold, hard realization
You had to let it go

It covered all of your dark corners
But it deserved more
Its light could illuminate so. much. more.
You had to be the one to let it

And so you did
And you found yourself back where you had started
Lost, and alone
Grasping in the dark
Your only light slowly fading away

But it’s okay

It’s all right

I’m right here

I won’t leave

And just like you encouraged me
Just like you nurtured and cultivated me
I will do the same for you
You gave it all up
Because the world told you no
But you fought the world and won
Just so you could tell me Yes

Now it’s my turn to do the same
So please, for the love of god,
Pick up your brush
I want to see your heart again

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