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ELK May 27
I wasn't lesser
that was never how you said it
there was just nothing more to me
then what met the eye

You singed bridges
cut ties
left me alone with nowhere to run
when I left myself bare to you
wholly exposed
and you took my brokenness
and threw it at my feet

I blame myself for your absence
"If I had just..."
I whisper
"Than we wouldn't be right here."
"We would be happy."
But happy, is not a word I understand
and sometimes
I think I never will.
ELK Mar 16
I catch a glimpse of myself
in everything
a miniscule glimmer
a tinkling whisper that floats into
my consciousness
I see it in wild beasts
who flash a feral grin
I see it in the wind
as it tears across the trees
It is even in the sun
when it folds into the horizon
"Like calls to like"
Some say
and believe it to be true
Clenched fists
choked laughs
trembling lips
A ravaged piece of me contracts
at the aching heart I know
is within that beautiful exterior
Perhaps, deep down, our soul is sewn
of the same material
Perhaps there is a single stitch
that binds us together
And all it takes is a single
to cleave it in two.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
What brings us together?
What tears us apart?
ELK Jun 2018
I'm still here after all this time
As my heart cries out within me
Pushing the crushing sorrow away
So that I may finally be free
Looking up at the stormy sky
Wondering if it will ever fade
Excluded from the sun
And drowning in the rain
"What have I done?" I cry
Eyes blurred by tears
Seeking answers around me
Fighting away my fears
Crumbling heart fails
Stony façade drops
Fragile soul shatters
As the pain stops
Replaced with numbness
And age old feelings arise
Tearing me apart
Blinded by demise
But I'm still here...
Oh I'm still here...
After all of this time...

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Your still here. So am I.
It will be okay.
You will be okay.
ELK Mar 20
Armor can
stop knives
but some things
cut deeper
than they ever could.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Words hurt more than we let on.
ELK May 21
beneath the moons shadow
rough rope gripped
between trembling fingers
spinning stars
a solitary wind teased my face
toes brushed dew-gilded ground

I leaned backwards
as if folding into the silky embrace
of darkness
eyes closed
the nearest my wingless form
could get to soaring

Slipping back to earth
I took a flying leap
throwing myself onto the
mere slip of a swing
the world tilted like an axis off kilter

There, in the stillness of the moment
I feasted my gaze on the way
the trees reached upward
as if they too, were searching
for something

Reality, right then, felt fragile
I dared not blink
for fear of breaking the spell
nothing existed outside
blinking fireflies
the wind as it enfolded around me
and I
gorging to gain the weight
my soul had lost.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Ataraxia: the state of bliss and serene calmness.
ELK Apr 27
Don't discard me
like a seashell
with a blemish
I'm cracking
of course
I'm crumbling
no amount of polishing
will sand away the bits
of me
you'd rather not deal with

I am picked up
and thrown away
always falling short
never the right shade
or shape

in the sand I await
unable to unsee
being chosen

One day
as the sun sets
I let myself release the childish
that I was enough for
that they were enough

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Atelophobia: the fear of imperfection. The fear of never being good enough.
ELK Dec 2018
When the tears spring to my eyes like a salty mist
this is where I go
where I stay
All my thoughts and feelings pour out into words
bleeding and transforming that which is
into something tangible
For though I long to scream, to shout, to cry
a small creature within holds me back
and I don't know what it is
What is this beast that slumbers inside?
I find myself an anomaly I cannot understand
and wonder if others think the same

They say I am harsh, cold, and mean
and I know, I know what I am
but something small and tender
aching and afraid
urges me to unleash my claws in a desperate attempt to
defend my heart
It is impossible to ignore, because it abides
deep in my bones
and when I was young and starry eyed
I used to tell myself it was okay
but its not
it never was
When life becomes hard, I do too
and I am sorry, ever so sorry for those who unleash
their own claws on me
for they will find a whirlwind of steely fangs and ire
bursting to the brim with ferocity

I am broken, splintered, ever so weathered
from what life has thrown at me
I see now that it isn't about
Its about living
But how can I call this living when all the softness
I used to see in this world
is gone?

-Esther L. Krenzin-
There is a monster within that hurts ever so much. There is a monster within that bares its teeth and bites.
ELK Jun 16
I am becoming
stirring the flames that I subdued for you
cultivating the embers
that ate away at my innards

When did I allow
my fangs to produce honey
when venom was what I needed
to stand up for myself?

Too long I’ve tarried
in the shadows
shedding one skin only to don another
caught between a disguise of who I am
and who they want me to be

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jun 15
I'll crumble to dust
if you lean on me
any longer
I am but an sapling
that was forced to grow
before its time
a flower that bloomed
out of season
and withered before it
could blossom.
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK May 18
I hiss and withdraw
to the core
retreating behind my thicket
of thorns
fangs bared against
beleaguered attempts
to shred the serendipity
I've fought relentlessly
to nurture.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Beleaguer: to exhaust with attacks
Serendipity: finding something good without looking for it
ELK Aug 3
perhaps we burned so fiercely
that even our best efforts
couldn't quench the flames.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jun 15
Placed in earth
corroded with poison
they expect me to bloom
as the other flowers do.
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Dec 2018
My story is filled with blotted ink
from the tears that so freely fell
Ensnared behind my closed mouth
words form and then rebel
Hands bleed with the need to write
but the pen has long been dry
Sometimes I wonder if
it has always been a lie
Then what is this
that flows through my veins?
Forged from silver
held back by chains
I do not see blood
only unformed murmurs
Mere fragments of the thoughts
buried beneath the armor
And if you tore me open
all you will ever find
Is blank paper
torn pages
and ink run dry.
-Esther L. Krenzin-
Do you ever long to write yet no words form? To put down on page what feels so powerful yet so
ELK May 15
What is this heaviness that lingers
in my bones
take it away, God,
if you're even there
grant me reprieve
or at least
a chance to breathe again
I called out to you
in the depths of my despair
but was sequestered
in the blues and grays
For just as the trees respond
to an exhale of wind
I expected a answer
from you
forgetting for an instant
to don my leather regalia
and so I payed
the price in full.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Take away that which weighs against my strength. I am waning. Fading. And I will crumble away in the breeze.
ELK Sep 20
some of us are born
with a brokenness
that warps spines
thins blood
and harbors diseases
even the doctors cant diagnose.
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jul 8
How can I find the strength
to stand on bruised feet
when the path before me
is a smudge of inky terror
in the horizon
growing in its menace and might
twisting and spiraling
like a lifeless snake
that was stretched from its skin
to accommodate others.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Feb 6
Sometimes I can't be anything but sad.
I don't want to find a reason, or try
to find the light,
I just want to feel,
and allow the truth of reality to sink in.
I'm scared of what the future will be,
and what else I'll have to go through.
I'm exhausted, tired of enduring,
pushing on,
I feel old, ever so old,
centuries lived, centuries weathered.
The intensity of it hits me hard,
and I gasp from the sheer feeling of it.
I can't breathe, can't move,
only let the sobs pummel me again,
and again.
I only let it out when I'm alone
with my shadow,
No peering eyes, no sympathy,
just me and my sorrow.
And as I sit there, I wonder what I'll be
like years from now.
Still broken?
-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Apr 21
I am what I fear
I am my own demise
the very force that splits marrow
and thins blood
I am the choking that comes
with the clash of sorrow
and brine

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Mar 9
Claw apart my flesh
to reveal a bleeding heart
Peel me open
to show what is falling apart
Stoked flame burns
brighter than trampled coals
Turn me to ashes
to crumbling charcoal
Once drowning
now buried in storms
A star shines brighter
fractured light reformed.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Feb 16
My body goes to such lengths
to part the waters and reveal
the war I fight against myself
Cruel words and battle scars collect
storing themselves in muscles
weary from strain
The typhoon building in my heart
has rose to a crescendo
pummeling against my walls
Suddenly, I long for solace
for blood to spill
and words to form
But whatever is within
locks itself away in my throat
lingering like a afterthought
Beaten and preyed upon
by it's own command
my body decays as my
mind runs
-Esther L. Krenzin-
Sometimes it's easy to feel ever so small. And even when you store it away, it demands to be felt one way or another.
ELK Apr 21
My friends call me a *******
laughing all the while
they think it is amusing
because they do not know it
to be true

So I laugh along with them
"How did you know?"
inwardly hoping for them
to look closer
see clearer
past the veil of my own design

so we carry on with this ruse
and even if the words were dusted
in sugar
it would still sting

-Esther L. Krenzin-
I know that I am broken. I know I have the soul and the body of a old lady. But please treat me as you do your own.
ELK Apr 21
With just a few words
you crush me to smithereens
taking and taking without giving
anything in return
Even as something in my chest
Even as I feel my walls crumble
nothing can halt the sting of hurt
that follows you
You handle words like a double-edged
a prodigy in the art of inflicting
Spitting acid into the air between
it collects beneath my flesh and
eats away at me from within
So I summon shields of wintery smiles
and icy eyes
in the futile hope it will ensconce
bandaged bruises
I make myself stand tall before you
and unexpecting.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Dad, you can be so hurtful.
ELK May 15
It is not weak to yield
nor is it courageous
to rely on subterfuge
Speaking your inner truth
comes from daring to brave
eye rolls
shaking of heads
and mouths that smile yet
form cruel sentences all the same
You'll bleed
dripping perspiration
oozing all the love
you cannot find
Just when it seems as if
the sun is obscured by clouds
you get to your feet
tense muscles unclenching
utterly at the mercy
of all the light
you are just now starting to see.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Speak your truth. Live your dream. Act on your word.
ELK Sep 20
there is a door at the foot of my ribcage
that says "do not enter"
yet they knock anyways
inviting themselves into my home
only to leave
when they've seen enough.
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jan 19
Remember that have to nurture your own light
before it can shine
Even if you are empty
even if there is no one to hold your hand
You'll find that a different kind of strength
comes from what you go through

-Esther L. Krenzin-
You are strong. You are brave. You are here. It will be over soon.
Hold yourself until the tears dry.
Hold yourself until you feel your soul gain some of the weight
it lost.
ELK Jul 8
Was I drawn to you
simply because
you saw the girl
who touched fire
howled to the moon
and played with knives
was it simply because
you didn't shy away
or do our souls find joy
in being insane together.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Aug 2018
A little girl danced to a song
her world small and nothing wrong
And in that instant she knew that she
a dancer she would always be
Her dream since the tender age of five
she knew that she must work and strive
Stumbling, falling, she fell to the ground
hurting herself severely she found
Years later it was all just a dream
everything went back to normal it seemed
And then one day she hurt it again
but still she pushed on and didn't let it win.

For long months she endured and toiled
the pain refusing to be foiled
They all tried to make it heal
but it wouldn't, and her fate it sealed
Keeping it hidden from everyone close
even the ones she loved the most
For she was scared and very angry
didn't want to lose her dream you see
When it was all too much to shoulder
she caved in and the world turned colder.

They told her she would have to quite
her heart a candle no longer lit
She stopped breathing as the world froze
blinking numbly she arose
Sitting backstage as her music played
mutely staring as the future was made
And then the music ended
and all the dancers ascended
As she sat thinking, "is this real?"
"Why God? I just want it to heal."
Tears frozen in her eyes
as she desperately wished it was lies
Picking up a flower from the floor
all that was left of what was before.

Holding herself alone at night
the crying girl a broken sight
Losing her dream was the hardest thing
her voice she found no longer sang
What would she do now that its gone?
a uncaring façade she would have to don
All that was left was memories
she wished the unending pain would just cease
The poor little girl learned to soon
that the world was harsh and full of gloom
The hardened girl still remembers
a life she had, now ashes and embers.

She'll never forget but she will let go
telling her precious dream farewell
To this day it still hurts
but she's stronger now when it wont desert
I know this girl very deeply
because you see
its really
-Esther L. Krenzin-
The bravest thing I've ever done, is continuing to live when I wanted to die.
The hardest thing I've ever done, is telling my precious dream goodbye.
ELK May 15
We are all dreamers
in a world of slumber.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Mar 20
Why is it so hard to breathe
with feet planted on dry land?
What chains itself tight in
our throats?
Can you flee until your limbs
Can you run from the raindrops
before they fall?
Maybe one day the sun will shine
on a candid smile
Maybe on day we won't feel as if we
are tossed about in dark waters
And maybe, one day, we will feel at home
on dry land.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
This earth is such a foreign yet familiar place.
ELK Sep 20
she gave
the very flesh off her back
and it was her demise
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Apr 15
Sometimes I think you look at me
and see an empty cup
lacking in every quality
you desire to see
So you pour from your own
trying to fill mine to the brim
what you don't realize is that
I'll never
be full in your eyes
there will always be a drop
or three missing
so don't waste your precious water on
I'll never
be enough
to satisfy

-Esther L. Krenzin-
Will I ever be enough?
ELK Nov 2018
A fragile shell of what once was,
decimated beyond comprehension.
Shards of a old life slipping away,
into the silent empty space.

Memories of loved ones,
eluding desperate hands that reach and seek--
For what is buried beneath the dust.

Submerged in perpetual darkness,
the stars have lost their light,
the moon has lost its glow.
Every infinitesimal shard of your very essence,
is engulfed in the empty space.

The empty space that exists outside time,
and matter;
Hides in the desolate corners of your mind.

A invisible fog covers your soul,
stealing it away like a thief in the night.
And you are left unreachable,
a blank page in a book full of blotted ink.

The ones who loved you with every breath in their lungs,
surround and overwhelm with tear filled eyes.
Utterly helpless as you disappear.

Years pass,
Evaporate into the empty sky.
Dead to yourself.
Dead to the world.
Dead to the ones who loved you most.

And though your gone, an empty space lingers in your wake.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
For Grandpa, who was diagnosed with dementia when I was five. He has disappeared and I cannot see anything but a broken shell.
ELK May 28
I don't think I'll ever get accustomed  
to seeing your lifeless corpse
every nerve screams for me
to shake that frail frame

For a moment
I let myself
envision your eyes opening
and smiling up at me
but they remain closed
and all I can do is watch
myself fall to pieces.
Esther L. Krenzin
For my great-grandmother.
ELK Mar 20
When someone breaks your trust
you'll never forget
But if you let it scar
if you let it toughen
your edges
The only person you'll hurt is
So even though it stings
even though its hard
And be wary against further bruising.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
I know its hard, but holding grudges is hurtful to both you, and others.
ELK Jul 8
I feel it all so deeply
that it hangs from my neck
like an unmarked tombstone
I've tried to bury it in
one too many drinks
they quenched the embers
sparking in my gut
so I get drunk on gasoline
hoping to match fire, with fire
fumbling hands shoving matches
down my throat
swallowing them whole
consuming that which burns so bright
within me
and even after I catch ablaze
I still feel it all too deeply.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jan 19
Sitting alone with the stars
I wait
For the last minutes of today
to fade into tomorrow
Turning what felt so precious
to memories
I remember the nights spent on the rooftop
caterwauling to the stars
and ache a little more
Everything reminds me of when we
had sock races across the slippery floor
Danced in the sky
fought battles with swords of leaves
Lay underneath a ceiling of blankets
and got tipsy on caffeine
That which cannot be tangible
feels like a knife to the heart
And as I wave goodbye
to the retreating light
tears start to pour from unblinking eyes
I stare motionless as it disappears
into the night
Quiescent as my body shakes from the cold
I cannot feel
Life is full of goodbyes it seems
and nothing lasts forever
But just this once I wish it would
just this once I would turn back time
To have a few more minutes of oblivion
even a few seconds
But time waits for no man
and no man waits for time
That is what you would say, isn't it?
They say that time has no beginning
and no end
But this feels final
this feels like the end to something
I will never have again.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
To Michael, my dear, dear, friend. Who was always there for me, who I cared for so deeply. Thank you for the many laughs we had together. And the many memories we made. I shall treasure them always.
ELK May 29
Such an fierce yet kind-hearted soul
you grew your own little world
one made of flowers and ferns
that responded like the unfurling wings
of a butterfly
straining for sunlight and warmth

You've touched so many hearts
held so many hands
you've claimed your spot in our lives

Even as I stare ar your face--
so worn from burdens
so lined with laughter--
a glimmer of the woman you were
peeks through the cracks of your eyes

gently grasping your hand that so lovingly
tended to your own
an mere murmur of your former glory

Loved ones flock
shaking under the weight of your death
distant beeping of machinery
mocking our attempts to hold on to you
if only for a little longer

"Don't leave," I inwardly beg
your lashes flutter
as if in response to my plea
I clench my fists but it's no use
you choke but never falter
my mother singing while you gasp

Red lights
whirring machines
as you
your last
I taste salt
it lingers in the air
and I think
it always will.

Esther Krenzin
For my Great Grandmother.
ELK Aug 3
you were half sweet
half sour
and i burned my tongue
when i devoured you

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Apr 21
Some people wear their hearts
on a string around their neck
while others cut that string
and shove it into their pockets
to pull out
and put away
as they please.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Jun 3
Hold me up
I can't stand on my own
don't let me down
when I need you now.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jul 8
You reeled me in
from the depths of where I hid
coaxing honey and venom
from split lips
like poetry.

Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Sep 20
because of you
i hated being a girl
you shoved hush
between my lips
and force-fed me the illusion
that i wasn’t allowed
to take up space
Esther L. Krenzin
Rogue song
ELK Apr 17
I promise its okay to let your head hang low
some trees have to bend
so they do not break
We are human
and our chins cannot stay up
And Dear One
you are precious
do not let them fill you with the ache
they too are feeling
Remember that you have to fall
before you can rise.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
It is okay to break down. It is okay to not get back up immediately.
ELK Jan 24
Its okay to cry
they say
again and again
But no matter how many times I hear it
it never feels true
Because I can't show that vulnerable
part of me
This raging salty storm within
gets caught in my throat
and words cannot form
So I grit my teeth
clench my fists
and paint my flesh with bruises
Anything to make it go away
anything to keep the tears
swimming in the depths of my eyes.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Sep 20
i know that you see yourself
as a jigsaw puzzle
that will never truly be assembled
but braveheart
life is about gaining those missing pieces
and losing them in turn
so be complete in knowing
that you are incomplete.
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Apr 29
Brick by brick
stone by stone
I have built myself up
denying the inevitable
that all things
and small
when it is their time
that mortality is the flutter
of a moth
so brief and sudden
fleeting even
an elusive thief we avoid
until it robs our home
and there are no riches that can
buy the hand of death
it strikes as it pleases
reaps those who sow
and sows those who reap.

-Esther L. Krenzin-
ELK Sep 20
i know you
better than you know yourself
i have been here since the beginning
when you first entered the world
fresh from your mothers womb
i was with you
when you threw yourself at my feet
and beat the ground with your fists
i have been with you
all the times you wept on cool tile floors
wondering so desperately what went wrong
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Jun 22
"Love is kind
love is gentle
love is cruel."
Esther L. Krenzin
ELK Apr 19
Who cares for you Mom, when you
cry alone?
You give and you give
so much
to your children
and to all who are fortunate enough
to cross your path

But what about you, Mom?
Who holds your hand when your shoulders shake
from the strain
of getting up
and moving on
even when all you want to do is curl up
and have one more minute
before facing the day

Its okay Mom, sit down for a bit
take that breath you needed
you don't have to be strong all the time
why should you, when your in
the deep end
flailing for peace
clawing for acceptance
and fighting to find the meaning
that's dealt

Your dreams, something to cherish in
quiet moments
have been shoved to the bottom of your
starving soul
for so long
you cannot hear their screams anymore

What I would give to heal your wounds
and take away the heartbreak
for you deserve to sing until
like a balm
it soothes away internal festering

"Chin up," they say, "You are brave."
Well I say, "Head down, dear one."
"There is bravery in the strength it takes
to show that you are hurting."

So Mom, when you are struggling
to deal with a unending sea
of pain
close your eyes
breath in
and out
wade into the dark waters
and let
the healing

-Esther L. Krenzin-
To Mom. Who is the strongest woman I know. Who has faced death, and pain and loss. Yet she is still standing. To all the brave mothers out there.
You are seen.
You are appreciated.
And you are loved.
ELK Aug 3
we are cut from the same cloth
you and i
we do not know how to be anything but
the giver
the helper
the lover
who bends over backwards
with no fuel
we split ourselves open for others
and wonder why it stings
when we sew ourselves up again.

Esther L. Krenzin
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