Walking by Laura Lodahl

Walking by Laura Lodahl Artwork

The past is a place I know well, well enough to be myself, to breathe, to sing, to dance, to hold on. It has been walking on my side ever since I was born. Yesterday is close, tangible, complete. When I look back at the beginning, I find pieces of myself which I have left in secret places. A map of me.

The breath that I took yesterday still lives on in my chest and nurtures the blood which is running through my veins; the force behind my beating heart which I have always carried in front of me. I cannot hold it any longer. My body breaks as the wind gently carries it away.

I always lived life retrospectively, lost myself in daydreams of cotton candy and somehow found the way.  I am red riding hood, waiting for the big wolf to come and devour me. Any minute now, any minute now, any minute now.

I have been walking for months whilst the leaves of the forest turned red, yellow, and orange. Time moves on as I decide to stand still, and I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Tomorrow is a place that I cannot even imagine, tomorrow is a place that will never happen, tomorrow is a place that will not let me in. I am Gretel, knocking at the door of the witch who has long been dead.

As I am entering her house, I shed layers. The yesterday, the today and the tomorrow. I shed layer after layer until I find myself stark naked in front of a fireplace, letters are strewn around the floor and I bathe in their ink. Stories that I have not yet lived become a new skin, a blue skin.

As I emerge from their words, the yellow brick road is leading me into the fire. I drown in it. The crispy flames are eating my skin and my flesh until all that is left are ashy bones, the bones that always held a place for my sorrow in their nooks.

As I take my last breath, she calls me, her wrinkly face appears, her green eyes smile and her hand is reaching out to me – I take it as she gently leads me into a future unknown in this realm of reality.

About the Author

My name is Laura Lodahl. I’m from Germany and have written audio plays for a local radio channel when I was studying in Leipzig. I’ve been taking part in poetry open mics in Germany and Scotland but prefer to contribute to an online platform.

I have always been writing, mainly about identity, belonging and mental health and have finished the Advanced Creative Writing module at the Open Uni this year.I write poetry and short stories in English and German, and I’m particularly interested in life writing. For the last years, I have travelled and lived in Europe and a lot of my writing has been inspired by people who I have met and places I have seen. You can find me on Instagram.

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