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I was born a runner.


And you could not help but get hurt, and hurt, and hurt,

and then you run before you could realize


I swore I could be a hero,

not a damsel in distress, and

I sought those whose worlds were decimated

and promised what little I had to offer.


what happened,

that your worldview shattered,

that you experienced something

you never believed possible for a girl like you.


They had run to survive;

they carried their past with them

rather than flee it.

They were far braver than me.


And you learn quickly,

as you slowly come to terms,

that there are two kinds of broken people.


And they protected me.

They promised me safety;

I believed them.


One says: I was hurt;

why was it me?

It wasn’t fair that I was chosen

for this pain and I refuse

to suffer it alone.


They are the broken who

take care of their own.


The other: I was hurt;

I will not let it happen to you, too.


We were all born survivors,

descended from runners who

passed their wounds onto us,

blood far removed yet persecuted all the same.


(And do not listen to those who hurt you.

They will whisper lies about the broken ones


The moment they realized I was

alone and naively unafraid,

    (blindly, recklessly so,

    still in denial, still uncomprehending)

they refused the prejudice

the powerful want us to believe we/they/all carry

(for the elite would always pit us against each other;

we are stronger together)


and tell you that no one is truly good

and no one will ever save you.)


and said, You are safe here.

And I believed them.



You were hurt and you survived

and you have a choice.


They endured trials worse than hell

and clawed their way back

—and I watched in awe as

my pace finally began to slow—

and took in a strange girl and

said, You will not be hurt here.


Make sure you do not let yourself

become the monster that did this to you.

And together,

united in our perseverance,

beautiful far beyond any physical manifestation

could hope to express,

we were ready to stop running.


So when you’re out of breath,

your feet bloodied and your lungs in agony,

you can still choose to stand and fight.

And the brave and the traumatized

will not let you fight alone.

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