The Duel


Duelling voices in my head

Battle back and forth,

Two age-old enemies lodged in my brain –

One cajoles, manipulates, controls,

The other whispers softly,

Nearly drowned by the brash arguments

Of the first;

It is louder: relentless,

Shattering my sanity,

Taking my soul captive;

It will not stop,

Like the rushing tide

It won’t be moved

By fickle whims or persuasions,

It crowds my thoughts in a corner,

Hemming them in with twisted words:

Lies, excuses and explanations

That don’t explain the twinge of guilt

Every time I listen.

I obey that nagging voice,

And go the easier route:

But why does it leave me empty?

Dried up and joyless,

Never satisfied?

While the harder route,

So rarely taken,

Calms my spirit

Like a refreshing breeze;

Listen then, to that quieter voice –

You know it’s right,

So pay attention.

Conquer the blackness within,

And let the duel end once and for all.

~ Ilana Reimer


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