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By Atalina Popov May 1, 2018

Running Water

Illustrated by Marian Schurman,

A cycle without suspense,

the epitome of white picket fence.

Aren’t I worth more?

I crave the fear of decisions that roar,

the endless thrill, with my heart beating

like a sea shore during a storm.

Is living in captivity even worth it?

A cave with no end in sight and a loneliness so deep

that it rings behind my eyes,

and all I want to be is wise.

A red flag, that’s what it is, but who am I to judge?

I’m merely a pawn in the bigger picture,

my actions forced, my will on the


Will I regret it?

I want to live on my own terms but

the bad men are lurking and

I am shrinking.

To help myself requires work,

but what if I can’t get out of the web?

I’m locked in place, my life is at my feet,

not in my hands,

I can see its red thread.

It ties around my heart and pulls,

looking me straight in the pupils;

will it ever stop?

I could find satisfaction with what I have,

but my brain has grown large and

craves to see past black depths.

But what if it brings death?

I can see its breath, it creates the showers,

and I have no shawl and now I am raw.

Forget the questions, I say. Forget them all,

I yell.

I will remove myself from this shell,

reborn into a treasure and strut onto the road.

They’ll all say: get her! By then, too far to reach,

I am the queen of this beach.

The water will touch my toes, the

depths will poison and sink away.

I’ll walk to the cave where my

mother grew; she only left me

a comb and her existential purpose.

I do want to learn from them but

the cycle will make do and I already

drowned the thread. 

Sunk to the bottom of the water,

I am far ahead, sunk to dry sand,

on top of land.

To let go of the bugging thoughts,

and to drink out of a coffee mug,

awake, awake,

I am the light.

About the author

Atalina is in the ALC program in the Literature profile and will be graduating in Spring 2018. She is born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal and wants to be a New York Times bestselling author even though it seems everyone is these days.

About the illustrator

Marian Schurman enjoys illustrative drawing for character concepts and comics. View more of Marian's work through the following link: https://www.instagram.com/mababwion/.


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