I feel unbearably vulnerable,
as delicate as the casing that surrounds me.
I want only to remain curled tightly,
safe within my walls.
At some immeasurable point, just before birth,
protection becomes prison.
As safe as I feel here within this shell,
there is a deep call to break free.
As I grew, the walls did offer shelter,
yet I mustn’t remain behind them too long,
lest my safe haven becomes my spirit’s tomb.
I was created to fly,
but what bird can fly with its shell still upon its back?
The walls tremble now
with each new breath.
The light rises as the walls continue to thin.
If I could but glimpse that light;
make one tiny crack to peek through.
I uncurl just enough to reach uncertainly
toward the light.
A shudder, unbidden, runs through me as I brush the wall,
now the source of my confinement.
There is the briefest moment of choice,
a slight pressure.
To my surprise it takes only the smallest pin prick in the wall
to flood my cell with light.
The urge to fly overcomes all fear,
and I stretch and push,
no longer hesitant.
The walls, having served their purpose,
fall easily away,
and I stumble blindly into the light –
nothing so graceful as bursting forth!
As the last shards of my shell settle around me,
I stand unsteady in the cool air of the new day,
knowing I’m not yet ready for flight,
yet knowing I am ready for the steps
that strengthen my wings
Protection becomes prison,