When My Lungs Burn

By Melinda Delamarter

I see you

You’re standing at the edge of this forest


The entire world has already passed through

They’re living their lives on the other side in peaceful bliss


Of the terror you go through every morning

Struggling to face the uncertainties that rise up and slap you every second


Of the agony it takes for you to crawl out of bed each time the sun rises

Even though you know you’re facing seventeen hours of gut-wrenching pain


I know your anguish, your terrors

You may think I don’t see

But I know

I have heard the tears at three in the morning

The groans emanating from your bed

And I have hurt

For you

I have calmed your fears of all the loud noises I find


I have been there and soothed you when the world’s chaos has become

Too much

I guess that’s it, isn’t it?

This is why I am


I’ve spent the last few years of my life struggling to guide


Out of this box of frightening terrors you have placed it into

You are the scared princess waiting to be


I have ridden to your side and saved you

More times than I can count

I am the hero who loves to pull you from


And make you



In actuality

I am a scared princess myself

I have cried in the dark in


Terrified of what tomorrow may bring

Scared to fall


I am the frightened princess


From the exertion it takes to save you and still concentrate on


I have nearly given up

So many times

I have lost my will to


For both of us


The thought of leaving you


At the edge of this forest




It breaks my heart more than the thought of


From you

I am broken from this trial

This I fully acknowledge


I also feel that I have been given the gifts to



And be there when the shadows darken your face

So I will hold your hand

Even when my breath is


When my lungs


And I have lost all sense of rest

Because you are my sister

And I love you

MelindaMelinda Delamarter is an eighteen-year-old high school senior hailing from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She has loved reading and writing from an early age, but has really started trying to improve both habits within the last year. One of the chief instruments in this renewed passion is the Young Writer’s Workshop created by Brett Harris and Jaquelle Crowe. She is currently working on a young-adult novel entitled “Dome” about a young woman who lives under the surface of the ocean. When asked the one thing she wants people to see when they see her, she answers, “Jesus.”

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  1. Melanie, this is beautiful and so poignant. I relate to it so much because I just went through a time when I actually physically couldn’t support my best friend any longer, even as she was going through a hard time. I had to step away to save myself, as you said, but I still love her like a sister. Thank you for writing this and sharing your heart; a lot of people are going to be helped by it. Congratulations on getting your poem published!

  2. This is just beautiful. I love it. Thank you so much.

  3. Melinda, this is so good! Amazing insights; this is relatable and so true. 🙂 ~Adora

  4. Moving and powerful! Love the vivid descriptions.

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