I choose to risk my significance


Found in the desert.

Found in the desert.

I Will Not Die An Unlived Life

by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life 
I will not live in fear 
of falling or catching fire. 
I choose to inhabit my days, 
to allow my living to open me, 
to make me less afraid, 
more accessible, 
to loosen my heart 
until it becomes a wing, 
a torch, a promise. 
I choose to risk my significance; 
to live so that which came to me as seed 
goes to the next as blossom 
and that which came to me as blossom, 
goes on as fruit. 


I Choose to Risk My Significance

My son turned 17 years old today.
That seems so different than 16…
so much older.

I had an insight last week,
working with a friend,
that maybe,
just maybe,
I was holding him back.
Holding on, keeping him
dependent on me

I don’t want him to leave me.

I didn’t know that.
I knew it was a dangerous edge,
this needing him to need me,
but I didn’t see that underneath
I was sneaking around,
trying to hold back time,
to make him the dear sweet little boy again,

so afraid
so afraid
so afraid
of losing him.

I found myself
reading the book about him
as a child, instead of as a teen.
I brought him two books from the library,
children’s books, I hoped he’d read.

But no.
But no.
But no.
He is 17.

He is a young man. He is growing and I cannot
I cannot
I cannot
hold on to him.

I couldn’t if I tried.
I must
I must
I must
risk my significance, and believe
he does not need me
to live anymore.
He is free.

—Jennifer Wolfe
Written during the National Association for Poetry Therapy Conference 2014, Scottsdale, Arizona, as inspired by
the poem I Will Not Die an Unlived Life and by Robert Merrit’s workshop titled, “Great Delight”: Writing to the Chaos of Emotion” 

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