Crushed, like an old autumn leaf beneath the foot of an excited school child
They make piles of me to jump in
Not realizing that leaves are just dead reminders of forgotten lives, shed off before the air grows frosty
These children throw the corpses of my siblings in the air in play
I guess it’s because sometimes death brings new life and joy to younger generations

Crushed, like a pebble beneath a boulder
Feeling pieces of myself break off, running away in miniaturizations
I don’t have the strength to lift this weight off of me
And I can feel myself grow weaker by the nanosecond
I find myself wondering how God measures time as I am reduced to merely sand in an hourglass 

Crushed, like the heart of a teenage girl after her first boyfriend breaks up with her
She wonders what is wrong with her
“Am I not pretty enough, not easy enough, not good enough?!”
Oh, oh, I can assure you, you are
And she cries until she falls asleep, not knowing she’ll be better in a week

Crushed, like the earth beneath the comet that killed the dinosaurs
And I feel like I’m dying out too
The air around me grows heavier
I am sinking in the tar pits, clinging to the fur of a wooly mammoth
Wondering why I’m holding on at all

Crushed, squashed like a bug on the windshield of a semi truck
Being transported across several state lines
Waking up not knowing where I am anymore, not knowing who I am anymore

Crushed, like an aluminum Pepsi can, ready to be reduced, reused, recycled
Knowing that if he knew everything I’d been through, he’d never love me the same
Afraid, but still forced to come back to the same, old house at every transition period
Wishing I could just be alone, but still feeling so lonely
Muttering curse words under my breath every time I hear the old lady begin to raise her voice in condemnation of my father from the next room over

Crushed, like the red pepper you spread over your pizza
But when you’re not careful you have too much of me
More than the suggested dose and you burn your mouth
You drown your pain in liquid sorrow
Swearing you’re ready to quit me; you’re done

Crushed, like a red solo cup in the hands of a drunken college student
Thrown out with the trash
I can barely make out his name written on my side in smudged, black, sharpie ink
It was just for one night and it didn’t matter
But to me it did, because now I’ll never be able to hold contents again

Crushed, under the pressure of the world that I carry on my shoulders
I feel like giving up or giving in
But God’s voice speaks to me, saying I’m not done yet
For I am coal, and I need this pressure to become a beautiful diamond, ready to be mined.


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