Four Walls

Image of Short Fiction & Poetry Contest - 2019

The Walls surround me.

They shrink closer with each breath.

Space is shrinking, air is shrinking,

Lungs claw for air, legs itch to run—

Airways close, itch engulfs—

I am immobile—trapped

Within these Four Walls

Just Four Walls—


The Door is ajar... 


I lie there staring at it and it stares back.

Why can't I walk through?

Am I too weak to move?

All it takes is a push, one slight push—

And the Door would give way.

The Walls would be powerless—

They fear to be powerless— 

And I fear them.


I fear disappointing them—failing them... 

Would they grow angry?

Would they feel nothing?

What am I afraid of?

I fear life without them.


Thoughts breathe life into lifeless Walls,

Why can’t they breathe life into me?

Then I could move, then I could be free.

All it takes is a push.

One slight push.


I breathe the Walls in

I breathe them out

They shrink closer


Each breath brings them closer to my breath 

And yet I keep breathing

They are Walls

They are just Four Walls

They touch my nose

My breath can go nowhere 

It is trapped within me

It screams 

No the scream is mine

I scream and the Walls scream back

I cry and the Walls cry back

I push the Walls and the Walls push back

They push and push and push

I can’t run I can’t move I can’t breathe

Eyes close and the Door slams shut—  


My eyes open, my lungs expand, my legs stretch.

I look up and the door is closed—

The Walls within,

My body without.

Was it me?

Was it them?

Does it matter.

I dance and scream with joyous rapture.

My lungs inhale the air of the world.

My legs carry me far away.


Suddenly my legs stop

I cry as sorrow takes hold

I need the Walls

I don’t want them

I don’t want to need them

But I do

I hate this realization 

I almost hate them 

But I don’t

I want to go back

I want the Door to open

And the Walls to surround me

But I keep walking... 


I cry as I leave and Home stays.

I hear the Walls cry too.

A sorrowful, howling whisper—

It haunts me to this day.