Shadow of Death

A Poem About the Bad Times

Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash

There is a phrase from the Bible that I have heard since childhood, but only recently have come to understand viscerally.

…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

It is a Herculean task, helping my daughter face her crippling pain. I am witnessing horrible things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Hope is hard to find.

And yet…

________________________________________

The sun doesn’t shine here.
The wind is strong and cold.
Danger waits;
Perched on the precipice above,
Coiled along the path,
Building strength around the bend.

The flock has moved on.
Seeking green meadows.
Finding cool waters.
I am alone.
Only the shadows accompany me.
The skeletal limbs of death reaching for me.

I am living, but not alive.
How can I continue moving,
When the path has vanished into darkness,
When I am ensnared by thorns?

Is it better to wait for rescue?
To hope for a miracle that may not happen?
Or is it better to accept the cold, the pain, the fear?
To look to the mountains and recognize that they are scalable?

Can I trod the high places?
Do I remember the shepherd’s voice?
Can I recall the safe spaces?
If I listen, can I find the path?

Has the barren land swallowed hope.
Or does it still grow between the rocks?
Can I spot the hardy moss and the windswept flowers
That make a life here in the valley?

Death is not my only companion.
Shadows are not a visceral threat.
If I want to reach the next mountain peak,
I must cross the valley.

Some days I make good time,
And am happy with the progress.
Some days I make poor time,
And forget to cheer for the baby steps that I made.

Some days the valley seems so long,
That the mountain feels like a dream.
Hazy and Unreal.

Some days, the wind seems too strong.
Each movement requiring effort.
Overbearing and Unending.

Some days the shadows seem too dark.
The unknown dangers too threatening.
Omnipresent and Omnipotent.

Those days, life seems too hard.
Each step too painful to consider.
Pointless and Impossible.

But some days, I remember the shepherd.
I remember the mountain.
I remember the goal.

And those days, life is still hard.
Each step still painful.
But there is a point.
And it is possible.

--

--

I’m a speculative fiction and poetry writer, a curious soul who never grows tired of asking “Why” and “What if?” Look up AuthorAnneSpringer on Facebook!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Anne Springer

Anne Springer

18 Followers

I’m a speculative fiction and poetry writer, a curious soul who never grows tired of asking “Why” and “What if?” Look up AuthorAnneSpringer on Facebook!