Of late my resilience has been tested.
I have been bounced and prodded until
a storm of anxiety has filled every cell
in my body and accelerated them. Now they run
against, around, towards each other as if
they were the missives of an imploding star

pushing both away and towards the old star
it once was. A mass, disintegrating, being stretched and tested
over and over and over again. I ask myself of late, if
this continues can I hold out? And if I can hold out, until
what point? Of late my tendency to float feels like it has run
out of air. My life, as wondrous as it seems from outside, is its own prison cell.

I hurt, I feel lost, I feel trapped in this wallless cell
of invisible concrete and damp solitude. But, through my bars I see a new star.
Is this star my resilience returned? Will it help me run
beyond the cage and live with purpose? What if, in this cell I am being tested
to prove the strength of my resolve? I will adapt. I will grow, until,
when a prison guard stands at my cell door, across my path of exit saying, ‘if

I stand here in front of you, baring your way. If
I say surrender to negative, will you? Or will you, with every cell
in your body, carry on your chosen road until
there is no road, and when there is no road, jump from star
to moon, to deep black hole?’ This will be my resilience tested.
Proven. I will have grown the trust I need to believe the road is mine to run.

And it finishes only when I say I have run

to my journey’s end. Only then with clear head and heart, if
I say it is time to change will I change my path. For I will have been tested
and I will know the test is now over. The place inside, the cell
inside, will have broken open and I will have touched
the star that once hung through the window. The star that taunted me until

I sprang, resilience my armour, my strength. I stretch until
reaching that flicker of light, grasping it in my hand, I run
through the swirling mass of the imploding star
that was my past. The end of this journey could be near, but even if
it is far into the future, I will greet it with the force of every cell
of my body. Vital to the end. My resilience will always be tested

against the heat of a star, pushed and prodded until
I have been checked for cracks and felt my strength of character run
low. But because I am enough, I will always, in the end, see I am no longer in a cell.



Emanda Percival is a writer and traveller, but not a travel writer. She writes fiction of any length, plays with restrictive poetry and prose forms, and in her spare time works at putting words into public spaces.You can find her on Instagram.

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