“My Labyrinth”

Amber R. Hiles

Being the fairly impulsive type as I am,

when I saw the opening within the finely trimmed hedge

I simply had to take the first step.

Like the infant bird perched over a cliff,

it was my time to leap to the seas.

An inkling of what lay beyond traipsed in my mind.

As a child discovers a shadowy wood

I too, gleefully, yet cautiously moved forward.

Was there caution?

For when something new is before you,

There is little thought of safety or survival.

It is all new. A wondrous thing!

Peeking around corners and twirling about,

I was in a fantasy of bewilderment.

There was no brooding of who was lost.

Or what was lost.

There was only life to be gained.

My size in comparison was humbling.

Fragments of concern floated into oblivion

when a new adventure lie ahead.

Would I see dragons and monsters and minotaurs?

Contemplating a myth was pleasure enough.

No such creatures lurked at critical junctures.

There was only me.

I was the only force moving me forward.

Similarly, I was the only force

holding me back.

As I hurried through the maze,

I was left with little breath.

Many openings had I found.

But none that could lead me out.

None of them were veracious.

Shadowy figures slipped silently around corners-

Perhaps it was a single figure, billowing as if smoke.

Not leading. No, he was not directive.

Twas a man in black; a hooded figure that crept beyond me

He seemed only to be there as my companion.

Not much of a companion was he.

I only caught glimpses. I was constantly eluded.

As soon as the shape was cast,

It mysteriously disappeared.

I had grown quite accustomed to the shadow.

I saw it here or there.

The less I saw him—or it

the more I yearned for his presence.

Onward! I must push forward.

My heart skipped with delight as

A cherub flew swiftly, fleetingly around me.

He giggled softly.

The sound, so light, would have been

my mind’s imagination.

He made me smile.

But even the light-hearted boy

could not break me of my chains.

Did I hear trickling water amongst the joyous sound?

It made little difference what I heard

as long as the appealing cherub danced around me.

Dancing to the quiet ebb and flow of the breeze.

My reason and conscious sight left me.

I was enchanted.

The perfection of the boy had captivated me.

Without a doubt, he held all of my attention.

I wanted him to stay with me always,

but the adorable and charming boy disappeared

as quickly as he had originally appeared.

I stood alone, again… with not a single option.

I am not one to be impaled.

There was only one way out.

I would claw through the wall.

Undeterred from anything around me,

I moved towards the nearest barricade…

Higher than the tallest tower.

I pounded at the brick hoping to loosen the hold.

My fingers bled, my nails were shattered.

I cleared an opening smaller than a nail.

to see the light from the other side.

Continuing to rip the wall to pieces,

I reached my arm through.

Oh! The air moved under the fine hairs of my arm.

The sense was of pure ecstasy.

A rumble, like thunder echoed through my being

It came from the west.

I could hear the boom—boom–boom.

The sound was of the heaviest weight… churning.

The rocks bounced from earth to air.

The ground moved beneath me.

The pebbles jumped and my hands moved

instinctively to my ears.

The sound was deafening.

Then the tsunami-sized wave crashed over

the side of the labyrinth. My labyrinth.

The same walls that had imprisoned me

were no match for the power moving toward me.

I stood there, still, with my hand still feeling

the sweet air from the other side.

I pulled my hand slowly from the hole I had dug.

With my hands to my side, I faced the beast.

The maze flooded around me.

My soul had succumbed to these final moments.

Destiny had led me into the labyrinth.

Destiny, now came in the form of Poseidon’s rage.

The water had filled the labyrinth half full.

Perhaps it was nearly half empty.

My legs were drenched.

I stood defiant. I stood serene.

As the waters reached my midriff,

the earth cracked beneath my feet,

swallowing my legs. Planted like a seed.

Would they have budged?

I didn’t try. So close I was to the lovely air.

Now, there was to be no further journey for me.

The final wave of water moved around my face.

I gasped.

The waters washed me away.

There was only darkness.

I opened my eyes.

The water stood still, adhesive- a box around me.

I walked right out of it like you would walk through a door.

The familiar, fresh, vibrant air surrounded me.

Water dripped from my hair,

rolled off of my nose,

and made not the faintest noise

as it dropped onto the earth below.

The air I had felt on my hand before

Filled my lungs- a heavenly breath.

I had emerged into my impossible land.

Dripping wet-newly born.