It Was She

It Was She

By Robin LeOra Anderson

The woman in the reflection was unknown to her, a stranger. The figure sat poised and proper at the cherry wood vanity. Her ample breasts spilling out of her strapless black lace bra. Red lipstick clasped in her newly manicured fingers. Her petite hand, adorned with a 1/2 carat diamond on her ring finger, catching the reflective light of the setting sun.

The rays casting through the French doors that led to the perfectly tended yard. Her long golden locks, portraying the perfect illusion, whilst hiding the $500 extensions. She didn’t seem real. Who had she become? This version of herself masked the reality of what she felt. Was she a trophy wife? Is that what one would call it? If so, it was she that had allowed herself to obtain such a title.

Over the years she has given permission for her old self to die away and for the new model to be on display. Disgusted by what stared back at her, she stood, tossing the makeup into the vanity drawer. She sauntered to her closet where her gown for the evening’s festivities hung. Still covered in plastic from being picked up from the dry cleaners earlier in the day. Gently removing the plastic covering, she carefully wiggled her tiny frame into the crimson velvet dress, squeezing her $8,000 bust into it as best she could. She pulled at its ends, causing the fabric to form even more fittingly, hugging her small curves. She slipped her toes into the black Louis Vuitton’s, and took a step back to take a gander at the presentable finished product. She was indeed quite the most beautiful specimen.

But in that moment, it didn’t matter. Her beauty. The big 5,800 square foot home. The gun metal Maserati in the garage, or the crystal flute etched with a golden rim that housed the sparkling Veuve Clicquot. She raised the glass to her lips and took a sip of the delectable liquid. She took one last look in the mirror, raised her free hand and matching the gesture of the pristine red nail of the middle finger, uttered aloud, “Fuck you!” For, It was all a facade.

In a moment she would make her grand entrance. The guests would “ooh and ah” with hushed tones upon her arrival and she would elegantly walk towards her husband and he’d kiss her on the cheek. He would gawk and gush, exaggerating his delight with a plethora of compliments; all the while his gaze straying towards another beauty that stands nearby with smiles of adoration. It was all a game. Lies and falsifications disguised with laughter and grins. Yet, she knew she would play the part, wear the smile, for how could anyone with “all this” be unhappy. One should be grateful for all that they have, and to turn a blind eye to his adulterous ways…was understood, was acceptable, and she would be crazy to give it all up.

She turned away from the reflective image, and she began her walk down the hall to embrace the insignificant faces of the evening. His colleagues, long-life friends, those he had added to the list last minute to simply rub his success and blissful life in their faces. She was his to show off, right along with the cognac that they had brought back from their trip to France, they were all on display. She could hear the chatter and clinking of glasses, and with one last sip and one deep breath (causing her bosom an attempted escape from the constricting dress) and a smile…entre’!

Suit and ties filled the room, various scents (colognes and perfumes clashing) filling her nostrils causing them to flare. In efforts of disguising the overwhelming fragrance, she delicately brought her glass to her lips, taking another gulp whilst holding her breath.

As she walked about the room, greeting her guests with nods, smiles, and hellos, the men’s eyes followed with each sway of her hips. All filled with lust and longing and some aglow with jealousy. The women were dressed to the nines, with various shades of their black and gray splattered about, yet unable to compare to her.

She caught a server by the elbow, trading her empty flute for another crisp cold bubbly, this one embellished with three pomegranates floating at the top, grazing her plump lips as she brought it to her mouth, quenching her thirst.

In that moment, just as she had assumed, her husband, began his approach to her. With much chagrin leaving the side of his muse, but not before whispering sweet nothings into her ear, causing her eyes to sparkle. Anger stung at the corner of her eyes, which then transformed into shame. She felt embarrassed by her husband and his mistress’ cavalier attitude. Their behavior wasn’t blatant, flaunting was even to crass of a word, however; they certainly didn’t disguise their relationship. It was such a ridiculous ruse, and it was expected that she would swallow her pride, her dignity, her value, her worth. She deviated her eyes away from the spectacle. In response and perfect self deprecating fashion, she finished her champagne, and found the server grabbing another.

Much to her dismay, he had chosen to wear his gray Armani suit. Upon purchasing it, weeks prior, she had mentioned that the suit was simply too small. The areas that it hugged and accentuated were not flattering by any means. Yet, he disagreed claiming that it was his exact size, a 42L (in reality a 46 would have sufficed perfectly). But, as he paraded across the room, his red velvety tie caught the flickering of the ambient candlelight that decorated the large room.

It was an intentional choice (the tie) to match her formal wear. His gait was proud, slow and steady, even with his confidence accentuated in each step, he was still unable to hide his middle-age bulge, that was so desperate to be released from the restraint of the single button of his suit. It was laughable really. How ridiculous he looked, yet the compliments and validation he received was all that he required, and of course it was given. The pats on his shoulder, the hand-shakes as he walked by, the nods of approval…the superficial confirmation filling his ego.

She could feel her stomach churn at the idea. The visualization of of the figures filled with greed and envy was more than she could bear. She could see the hunger in their eyes instilled with complete idolization towards this man. Her man. Her husband. She envisioned the gnawing and gnashing of their teeth diving into his flesh in ravenous frenzy in efforts to fulfill their gluttonous adoration. It was sickening. Vile. She had to clear her throat to stifle the bile that was journeying upwards from her belly. 

“You look ravishing, my dear,” he muttered under his breath, along with a tooth-filled smile kissing her hand. She nodded in response, her eyes catching the envious stare of his Jezebel from across the room. She then tapped her glass with the base of her ring finger, creating a high clanking, grabbing the attention of the visitors. 

“Would you all please raise your glasses?”

The room complied with her bidding. She scoped the great room, a large Christmas tree stood tall and stoic in the corner. Decorated to its absolute perfection. Ribbons and wreaths were strewn above the window and fireplace; the atmosphere so breathtaking that one could easily find themselves agape at its elegance. 

“I want to thank you all for being here this evening,” her voice as soothing as the trill of a songbird. “As we celebrate the passing year for all its triumphs and downfalls, I hope we are all able to reflect on our journey with positivity and continue to grow and learn. I do hope that the coming year brings good fortune, enlightenment, and an opportunity of discovery as we move towards a brighter and more satisfying future.” 

She paused for a moment, lowering her raised hand, scanning the faces of all those surrounding her. She could feel their piercing eyes of judgement, their smiles of false truths, burning deep into her core, and she could feel the loneliness rising within her depths. It was a room of strangers who desired to be called friends. A room filled with beings that knew nothing of her soul. 

With an escape of a small chuckle, she raised her glass and continued, “So, fill your ravenous appetites, indulge on the flowing cocktails, taste all the delicacies proffered within these walls, TAKE what is given, and appease your voracious sinful souls! here’s to you!” The room, in automated response echoed, “Cheers!” She then locked eyes with her spouse, as they each took their sip in response to toasting tradition.

His brow furrowed, as he stood quizzical and confused. She gave him a sly smile and a devilish wink, then ventured towards his muse.

The young woman began to shift and stir in her bargain heels, nervously fidgeting with the diamond earrings that hung loosely from her lobe.

A gift for being, “Such an amazing assistant, a godsend really,” or at least that’s what she was told when she found the bill from the jewelers, that had accidentally fallen from her husband’s pants pocket earlier that morning.

As she reached her destination, the young woman attempted a smile, all the while with quivering lips and her eyes darting sporadically in the direction where her husband still stood watching. She leaned in towards the girl, she placed her lips upon the girl’s cheek, giving a delicate peck, slowly she moved her red lips towards the girl’s ear, and whispered HER sweet nothings.

“He’s all yours, dear.” She placed her empty flute down on the glass coffee table, exited the room, fully aware of the whispers, gossip, and giggles.

Upon returning to her bedroom, she closed the door and fastened the lock behind her. Safe within her solitude. She went before her mirror, freeing her feet from the three inches of height and began unzipping her dress. The red velvet fell to the floor, and with the unsnapping of her bra, her breasts were now liberated. Her nipples stood erect from the sudden exposure of the air. She then removed her underwear, tossing them to the side. She stood before her image. Naked. Susceptible to judgement; her own. She was vulnerable and she was frightened. As she looked about the clothing scattered on the floor, she removed all her jewelry, adding them to pile at her feet. Lastly, her ring. The last materialistic item that connected her to him. The identifier that allowed the world to see that she was taken, that she was a Mrs., that she was still his. She held it in the palm of her hand, feeling its weight. She then chucked it across the room, hitting the wall above their bed frame, dropping to the hardwood floor, giving a thud of finality. 

Her skin had been shed. And she could feel a rising fire growing from within her belly. She could feel a new strength flowing throughout her veins. Her heart raced. With one inhale, deeply filling up her lungs, awakening all senses, electrifying her soul and setting her eyes ablaze. 

She had been reborn. 

About the Author

Robin LeOra Anderson

My name is Robin LeOra Andersen, I am 43, married for 20 years, and have 4 beautiful children. I am a stay at home mom, but do help my hubby and older son (when needed) with our family business. I am located in Northern California, I am a classically trained pianist, I home schooled my children (an incredible blessing and adventure), and have always dabbled here and there (as a hobby) with writing. This past year, and as my children are getting older, I find I have more time for myself.  I am taking my writing more seriously and am currently working on completing my first novel. It’s an exciting new journey for me, and I am eager to see where it leads. My poetry can be found on Instagram: @leoras_beautiful_chaos_poetry 

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Poetry by Karen Blunt

Remains of the Day

By Karen Blunt

In the rubble of my memories...
As I searched thru the dust filled corners of my mind
I found a remnant of you...
What was left of our torrid love affair.
How our passion burned so hot...
Now the remains are only ashes
And each day that passes...
I leave the remains of us farther behind.

Blissful Love

By Karen Blunt

I wish to dwell forever in the pantheon of your love.
To bask in the glorious feel of your touch.
To drink in the sweetness of your kiss...
Forever lost in this blissful affair.

About the Poet

Poetry by Karen Blunt

Karen Blunt lives in Arizona. She is 62 years young and single. She currently lives with her daughter and her family. She is a retired chef and still love to cook, but only cooks for her family. She is an amateur photographer and often uses her own photos as background for her poems. Karen is an avid reader and hopes to publish her own book in the future. She has not yet published anything, but has written a few short stories when she was younger. You can find Karen on Instagram: @blunt.karen.

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Grammarly Writing Support

Poetry by Patricia Ndombe

Patricia Ndombe

She Could Just Sit in a Wheelchair by Patricia Ndombe

I put my depression aside
whenever I take care of my grandmother.
But there is always enough time 
to wonder what she thinks of me
as I help lift her out of bed.
She can hear the discs of my back
scrape spine. Screw ergonomics. 
What will I tell her
if she asks of my back?

There is an hourglass that
sits on her forehead. 
She sits up and swallows pills
like I swallow sleep. Grandma,
please, let us get you a wheelchair.

I can hear her tick to the 
beat of a dying analog clock.
Please stop worrying about us.

To Cut Yoko Too Far by Patricia Ndombe

I watched your piece, Yoko
I am terrified

I hear your sighs turn shallow
as people circle close around you
Were you afraid too?

I cursed the men who touched you
The men who snipped at your thighs and your chest,
refusing to drop their masculinity in your divine presence

I cursed the man who circled you,
pulling power from the scissors lying there,
praying you would stay prey as other women in his eyes

I cursed the man who sliced your sleeve
Go home, Pervert,
to the pillow that holds your semen-pee

Did I pierce your piece Yoko?

The women were precious, love
Not predators for at least the
first few minutes of poetry class

I am sorry, Yoko
I have screamed the stereotype
You must forgive me, though many will not

I will now return to the fuming feminist
that my mother knows and loves

Dedicated to Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece”

About the Poet

Patricia Ndombe is currently an undergraduate poet at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC pursuing a major in English and Creative Writing. She is shaped by a family precisely half African and half African-American. Along with her other passions such as self-care and holistic health, she enjoys writing poetry as a creative outlet that enables her to reflect the world around her, escape the troubles of life, or look at it through another lens. Many of her poems were inspired while struggling with periods of identity uncertainty during her first two years of college, and this turbulent time period has given way to many others.  Patricia has been blessed with the opportunity to publish over ten poems so far this year, including celebrated poems such as:  “Ekeko”, finalist in the 2019 Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts. “I want to be pricked the tongue by a fish hook”, a finalist in the 2019 NC State University Poetry Contest, and “Broughton Dr & Hillsborough St”.

She thanks you for the opportunity to share her work.  Instagram: @poetic.patricia  Website: https://sites.google.com/view/poeticpatricia

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Poetry by Alicia Thompson

Eleanor by Alicia Thompson

Hair woven tightly knit,
Stretching the corners of the lenses,
Brown polka dots,
On the bridge above the white picket fence smile.

Body taunt, upright,
Arms reaching out and extending tight,
Tummy tucked, breath in,
Skirt flittering at the bottom of the rim.

Pointed toes, angular and rigid,
Foot flexed, legs strong,
At attention the parts are ready,
For the sweetness of the song.

Notes flutter through the air,
Striking out and inspiring the motion,
Head high, body bound,
Fair hair bounces up at the notion.

Floating through the sky,
The skirt abounds unlimited in flight,
The strength is freed into the light,
As the smile is suspended in height.

Her inner steel weighs nothing down,
It makes her apt to launch above the crowd,
Unfettered and suspended above,
Defying physics, my metal dove.

Untethered by Alicia Thompson

The vessel floats next to the dock,
A rope haphazardly connecting the two,
Waters touching the bow and pile,
All seemingly separate, yet the same too.

The sailboat begins to rock and hit up against the dock,
Bumping and now bruised the bow and the pile,
Tides lapping on the side,
Causing the clash of elements that will not subside.

The haphazard rope that now seems like an afterthought,
Has no chance at resolving the dispute,
As the sideboard crashes into the dock,
Binding, frayed and worn, gives irresolute.

The boat tithers to and fro,
Hanging low, the mast leans towards the waves,
Nothing and no one guiding the way,
Cast into the disheveled and roaring waters.

The rope drags behind flailing about,
It reaches and screams for the piles in the distance,
Unanchored and adrift, serving no particular purpose,
A failure from the outset, no chance to begin with.

But then the rope’s knot is lodged in the rocks, 
Catching a break that could not have been foreseen,
Now wrought, the vessel standing at attention,
Swinging and swaying, tethered again.

The jagged black rock,
Connected to the distant fray,
Mast, pile, rope, and dock,
All seemingly separate, yet proven the same.
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About the Author

Alicia E. Thompson



Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I spent most of my childhood playing in the woods and the fields surrounding my home with my neighbors, siblings, and my cousins.  When I was a sophomore in high school, I moved to Columbia, South Carolina and was introduced to a new life in the South. Although I traveled back to my home state of Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in History at Penn State University and later to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend Tulane University Law School, I landed in the low country of South Carolina to be closer to my extended family.  Myrtle Beach is now home; I am a partner at a southeastern based law firm where I focus on real estate matters, I am married to my husband Greg, and we have 3 children.  

Poetry in a new outlet for me.  While juggling motherhood and practicing law for the past 12 years, I prioritized work and family above self.  Struggling with the daily grind and trying to find quiet time, writing poems helps me tune into the outer world and to be present and grateful for the everyday life.  My poems focus on my children, nature, coping with work stress, and my travels. Eleanor is about my 5-year-old daughter who is enamored with ballet.  Her strong will juxtaposes her ability to glide through life, like the juxtaposition of the strength and grace of a ballerina. In my spare time, I enjoy the beautiful South Carolina coast, yoga and meditation, organizing a book club with other professional women, and spending time with my family.

 You can follow me on Instagram at @aethompso and on AllPoetry.com @EleanorT.

Alicia Thompson, Poet. With her family.
Alicia and her family.

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The Autopsy of the Scarecrow

By Karissa Seibel

When they autopsy 
the scarecrow,
they spill sunflower seeds and salt,
split apart a cotton heart 
trodden with cobwebs,
steady - handed enough to keep the smile at least halfway in preservation.
When they autopsy 
the scarecrow, 
they aren’t bewildered with the withered pumpkin - rind ribs,
for what good nature survives 
the seasons of isolation?
They do not catch their breaths 
in the autumn winds,
try to ease their minds in the rich scenery. 
They do not grieve the scarecrow,  
nor do they spur a thought for its spirit, 
but it is there at their side,
warding off the crows that wish to rob them of their harvest.
It whispers,
“Heroism is usually a solo dance, not without injury, but never failed to make me smile, for
how would you startle evil with anything less than happiness?
Breathe. 
Open your eyes and look. 
See my happiness morph through the changing earth and in your changing heart.”
And when they turn to leave, 
a blur catches their eyes... 
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About the Poet

Karissa Seibel

I am 17 and from Ohio, USA. For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing. I started out with short stories and began writing poetry a few years ago, but began focusing heavily on it just this year. As this is my senior year of high school, it is time for me to decide what I wish to purse for a career. I am still a little indecisive, but one of my top choices is to have a career in editing. I just don’t see myself not being involved in the art of writing! Some of my other hobbies include makeup and fashion. While I only practice those hobbies for fun, I take my writing seriously. Although I do not have a job in the field, I do have an Instagram account : @karissa_thinks_in_ink . I’m always looking at ways in which I can improve as a poet and I am looking forward to continuing to pursue this craft in my future, whether it’s part of my day job or on the side. I hope you enjoy my work and am ever grateful for the opportunities! 

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ABCs by Elizabeth James

ABCs by Elizabeth James

Always aware albeit agonizing angst.
Believing bitter banter behest blanks.
Cultivating consciousness cures communication.
Diligence discovers delightful demonstrations.
*
Everyone expecting evolves engagements,
Frequent forgiveness fuels fulfillment.
Give gentle gifts graciously,
Hang huge halos heavenly.
*
Intentionally invest in inquiring,
Judgement juxtapose justice joyfully.
Keep kissing know kindness,
Look lively love luxurious.
*
Memorize many more maturations,
Notwithstanding new novelizations.
Optimize only optimal orations,
Praising priceless poetry proliferations.
*
Quickly question quiet quintessentials,
Resisting raunchy romantic reportorials.
Savor sacred sensuous souls,
Treasure triumphs that take toll.
*
Understand unique undercurrents
Vehemently validate virements.
Willingly wonderfully witfully write,
X-ray xenogenous xanthippes.
Yield youthful yesteryear
Zealously zoom.
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About the Author

Elizabeth James

Elizabeth James is a poet and novelist, residing in the United States of America.
After years of dealing with inexplicable challenges and social issues, she was diagnosed as an adult, with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Elizabeth’s goal is to be an advocate, to bring awareness to the creativity and unique abilities of those with ASD. Her book, “Words of a Wild Butterfly- Poetry of an Autistic Mind,” will be out in the Fall of 2019.


Social Media: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorej
                       Twitter   https://twitter.com/Lizzyjames123

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The #1 Writing Tool

Medals Lie In Shame

Poetry by Perry Kay

Fire-red hostility whizzing through a burning hot blaze
soldiers dodging in muddy trenches 
Blood-soaked earth holding the weight of fallen heroes 
The stench of death mingling with acrid smoke that fill his failing lungs

The sun is a murderer
beating a blazing dragon’s poison on rugged uniforms
The moon is a robber 
hunting tired prey that pause to blink
Death is an escaped prisoner 
googly eyeballs rolling for prey on a sinking earth

He holds
his weapon
in
one plastic arm
patched 
with thread
dipped in blood
of fellow comrades
Fallen 
Splintered
Scattered
across a
flooded ground
as the stars
shoot 
and time runs by
a whizzing bullet

Now a crippled bundle of bones fastened to a wheelchair
The only remnant of a forgotten bravery is a missing limb
PTSD is a spider lurking in the corners with the cobwebs
in a dingy attic he calls home

Living off the ‘Thank you for your service’s scarcely thrown his way
as lonely eyes peek through a shuttered window in a dusty room
where faded copper medals lay in abandoned shame

His heart is a leaden hammer
breaking a fragile memory
into shredded leaves
But his strength is made of eternal concrete 
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About the Poet

Perry Kay

Perry Kay lives in New York but her heart is in LA. She love to write poems and short stories and wishes to one day publish a novel. You can follow her on Instagram @perrykay39

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Poetry by Taylor Lutka

Colorblind

Poetry by Taylor Lutka

I could not show you 
What was drawn 
As it was scribed 
Along my bones 
And it was 
Restrained under 
Coatings of guilt 
Hardened by the words
You burrowed in my skin 
So when you asked me
To show you my soul 
I couldn’t show you 
Because 
I couldn’t see it either
(it used to be yellow, what colour is it now?)

I Will Grow Tomorrow Instead

Poetry by Taylor Lutka

Today I felt like silence
Easily broken with your words
A shattered mosaic of lethargy 
Tapered at the seams 
Of your blade-like edges
Today I felt like darkness 
Draped in bitter frost 
Veiled behind window panes 
Sending rain clouds across 
Droughted landscapes
Today I felt like breaking 
And this dim silent world 
That littered the portrayal 
Of the essence of my mind 
Remained barren 
Sleeping with the misrepresentation
That nothing would grow again

(but I know it is just today) 
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About the Poet

Taylor Lutka

Taylor Lutka has been writing professionally for just over two years. She provides blog/article writing and editing services, but her true passion is poetry. She especially enjoys running her Instagram account, where she posts new poetry daily. Her writing focuses on everything from mental health issues, having your heartbroken, and what it means to be in love. She will be featured in the upcoming Augies Bookshelf “Instapoets” Anthology being released in January, as well as an anthology to be published by Train River Publishing. She is currently working on writing her debut poetry collection, which is hoped to be released sometime next year. 
Instagram – @taylorlutkapoetry

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Water by Aalia Liaquat

Water, a poem written by Aalia Liaquat

Babbling perennial brooks untamed
Streaming through the fissures unstrained
Limpid, pure bliss that flowed in trail
Drops that converges in deep vale
Sunshine buss on the dew drop plain 

Kaleidoscope of light's attained
The clouds that downpour unrestrained
Of slushy snow, rain, mist and hail
Untold moods babbling perennial. 

The tranquil disposition claimed
When the ripple effect is gained
The existence of mortals frail
When the sea swells on a large scale
The basis of life unexplained
Untold moods babbling perennial.
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About the Poet

Aalia Liaquat

Aalia Liaquat is from Bangalore, India. She is a kindergarten teacher. Aalia started writing 20 years ago, although then writing happened infrequently. For the past six months, writing poetry has become Aalia’s passion. She writes mostly romantic poetry but she loves to write on different themes as well. 
Follow Aalia’s popular poetry on Instagram: @harvestingmind

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Love Imprints

By Injla Syed

Let us lay on the shore of this ocean
and feel our love through
the deserted caves
of our hearts near the cold sand,
imprinting our love into this cold-blooded earth
and creating a masterpiece of two demons.

Let this salty water wash our love soaked bodies
again and again.
Let us make love laying down
beneath the blue infinite sky.

Let our love be the pathway for these smiling stars till eternity.
Let us spell the darkness of these gloomy nights.

Let us imprint the partial shadows of our love into the moon.
Let this cold breeze purify our souls,
filled with love again and again.

Let us be the verses of each others poetry
Let us be the love which we wish to create till eternity.

The moment we breathe the air together
is the life that sustains
our love ever since the day,
our hearts meet in the middle
of our sadness,
but let it be love that gave us
hope and bind us until the last breath of our hearts.
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About the Poet

Injla Syed

Injla is a budding writer and a poet from the heart of India. She is an old soul spreading the brightness and believes writing is more about
feelings from within. Injla knows exactly how it feels to break again and again, then to rise up.
She holds a great faith in her heart and soul and believes that God has the best plans for her. Follow Injla’s writing on Instagram: @yourinnerself14

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