I had dreams bigger than my eyes when I was young, and my eyes were always bigger than my heart.
Wonder for fuel, I reached for distant planets in my mind and found songs on the wind instead.
I sang til my throat was raw in hopes that they would hear me, even through parched lips.
The hidden ones who knew the secret to love and freedom would find me.
The keepers of invisible kingdoms would recognize me as their own and let me in.
But they never did. No one ever came to take me away from the pain and struggle.
And my songs were never the keys to fit the locks on doors to other words.
They were no magic spells to make my dreams come true.
For I had not the Crown of Confidence to hold the flag for claiming place.
My songs only made this world more real.
And if there was any freedom in that, it was only the freedom to feel.
If they were a key for any secret passage, it was only to the coast of tears who had nowhere else to go.
If only they had the strange magic that makes it easier to be here.
But that was never my gift, for one cannot give what they have never received.
How could I ever know the mastery it takes to wield the Wand of Triumph accomplished creatures possess when my feeble hands ache and tremble too much to hold it?
How can I know ease and flow when I’ve been used as bricks for the dam between the pressure of water against the force of man?
And how do you climb when your legs have been swept under you so many times you can no longer stand?
The song becomes silence, and the quiet soothes a restless spirit.
The dreamer can never lay her dreams to sleep when her heart beats so loud it keeps them awake.
I don’t sing out or scream anymore. I have not the strength to reach very far.
And the strangest thing happens in stillness, when music is but a whisper in a strand of a soul on the edge of letting go.
Aethers enter the liminal spaces in-between grace and grief.
And there lies the key to the Otherworld that was in my heart all along, waiting for me to arrive.
Copyright © Sheyorah Naify, 2021
Authors Note: This piece was written about watching American Idol, grieving the death of a dream of being a professional singer-songwriter due to chronic illness and disability, which is currently growing a replacement dream of becoming a published author.