Critical to My Flame

I've always been the type of person

who insists they don't need anything.

Depending on someone or something

has always been shameful and embarassing.

I have never seen the merit

In allowing something to be critical to your survival.

However, there is one thing I know 

I wouldn't be here without.

They were my friends 

when I was sent to counseling for not having any.

They made me smile

when I was sad about a boy who hurt me.

They kept me captivated

when I was bored with everything around me.

They are the reason I can express myself

with words instead of violence.

They are the reason I can understand

how the people around me feel.

They taught me more 

than I have learned in a classroom.

They took me to foreign countries,

Magic schools,

and back in time. 

They reassured me when I was doubtful

about there being anything good left in the world.

And when I was sure there wasn't anything good left in me,

they introduced me to flawed heros and misunderstood children.

Through them, I learned about the kinds of people

who can make a difference for the benefit of others.

I learned that flaws can also be our greatest strengths

despite what anyone else says.

They taught me that the odds

mean little to someone with passion and a goal.

When I needed to escape reality,

they were there to ease my soul.

I was lost in their stories,

and I wasn't worried about it.

When I was lost in the world,

they were a safe house.

Their words were lingering comforts

when I was alone and thinking about blowing out my flame.

I can honestly say

that I owe my life to my books and their authors.

They were critical to my survival

when they kept my flame going.

And so

I need books, I need their stories, I need those worlds,

because the life I have found in them

has saved mine.



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