I Am Free

Poem by Amanda Valerie Judd

I am free of you,
and yet,

The clink of ice cubes into a glass
sends terror down my spine
in much the same way
the sound of our garage door going up
would freeze my throat in fear
‘til I thought my neck would snap.

I am free, and yet,
when I accidentally
catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror
it is your face I see in mind’s eye,
as you shake your head in disgust
at the sight of me.

I am free, and yet,
your hateful words still
ricochet around my brain
slamming into the corners of my skull
like a desperate bird trapped
in a house trying to get out.

But I am free . . .

Ms. Judd has an AFA in Creative Writing. In 2020, she won the Patsy Lea Core Prize for Poetry. In 2021, her poem “My Only Label” was nominated for “Best of the Net 2021.”

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