By Israel Loeb

The fight
The struggle
The battle
It hurts
I want to rest
To lay my weary head in the snow.

I want to sleep.

I want to close my eyes
Sleep a dreamless night
Just the comfort of darkness to enfold me
To hold me
To guard me.

My face is battered and bruised
My knuckles bloodied
From too many blows,
Given and taken.

My body talks to me
Telling me
Too many tears
Too much blood has been shed.
Is this nightmare truly worth it?

Why do the scars never seem to heal,
Why do the tears sting so much,
And why do they never seem to dry?

The faces in the night haunt me
Taunting me
As they whisper in my ear
Nothing but the smell of death and decay
Their eerie smiles
Send me images of nothing
But the tortures of the past.

Am I running in place
Slowly slipping backwards?

I refuse for this to be.
I scream
Into the silent night
Don’t you remember?
How can you forget
Your joy as you dance,
As you loose yourself in the sounds
Becoming one with the emotion?

Did it slip your mind
The ecstasy
The freedom
Of throwing your head back in the wind
Laughing as the wind whips through your hair
Letting it fly in all directions?

Did you black out
And not remember
The thrill of new places,
And new faces,
The intoxication of love
Both new and old,
The exhilaration of the new
The beauty and elegance of the old?

Are you to old to remember,
To crushed by the dark side
To see hopes and dreams in a child’s face,
The sparkle of adventure
Shining in their eyes?

I ask of you
Open your arms
Just once more
Let yourself be engulfed
By the sounds,
And dreams,
That surround you.
That long to embrace you
And enfold you in there warmth.

There will be struggles and tests
Sometimes there will be fear
And even hate
There may even be loss and pain
But remember
You can always choose the gift of a smile
And laughter
Instead of tears
You can always choose to love
Instead of hate
Instead of death
And most of all
You must always choose
To dance…..


Israel Loeb is graduating from the MA Psychology program at NSSR. He will be joining the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Fielding University this fall. When people ask him what he does, he answers psychology. When people ask him who he is, he answers… poet.