Books Saved Me. A poem by Cheryl Rainfield.

Books saved me.
They drew me in,
their paper arms enfolding me,
their words wrapping around me,
absorbing my pain,
transporting me to other places,
other worlds,
where I could forget
just for a little while
the darkness that filled me,
the pain my lungs drew in and out.
Books allowed me to breathe.

Books saved me.
They showed me people who cared
when no one in my life did.
Showed me the tender side of people,
moments of kindness and empathy
when all I knew was cruelty.
Books allowed me to believe in the good in people.
They showed me, too, secret agony and grief
when I was so wracked in pain
I wanted to die.
Books whispered “You are not alone.
You will survive.”

Books saved me.
They gave me precious minutes, hours,
time elongated,
escape from the torture and abuse
I was living. They allowed me to dream,
to hope, to see beyond my dark world.
Hope that bolstered my soul
with paper and ink and words that swirled inside me
making me stronger, more whole,
feeding me when nothing else did.
I’m not sure I could have survived
if I hadn’t had books.
Books saved me.
I hope they’ll save you, too.

© Cheryl Rainfield, July 8, 2014.

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