by Serena Heaton

The claws of utter darkness reach for me;
Their fiery grasp leaves scars as black as coal.
I struggle—Let me breathe! — but cannot flee.
My lungs collapse, now doom will shred my soul.
I’m sinking, searching, grasping for the dawn,
I reach repeatedly but come up short.
This night is void of stars. All hope is gone.
I cry out, only met with sharp retort,
Which says there is no way to ever leave,
No savior who can pry the grip of death
Off me. My vision fills with stars; I grieve.
It all will fade, my life, my love, my breath.
  But even as I faint, light shatters through—
  I’m free—I hear, “My child, I’m here for you.”

Serena Heaton is a short fiction and poetry writer from Redmond, Oregon. She is currently studying English Literature at Colorado Christian University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading classic literature, scouring thrift stores for cozy sweaters, and listening to Julie Andrews’ lovely voice on cassette tape.

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