Kara Eckert

I am a product of this distressed academia
my courageous perseverance through the school day
only for the bane survival of my social standing and GPA.
The stress that dwells amongst the homework
and essays
and social issues
and deadlines
and college decisions
is an unfurling agitation within my soul
throttling my angst.
Lackluster tissues do nothing to quell my aching eyes
that release no tears
too wasted and spent to produce anything more
than a dead gaze.
My growling, inflamed hangnail reflects my stress,
its birth during that terrible test,
I picked and picked and picked away.

Get out
Get away

It is my only option
to prevent myself from turning into
a sour, fragile, cold, shell.

Get out
Get away

Flee to the woods,
the hemlocks arch downward,
their beading sap a pacifying aromatherapy.
Flee to the meadows,
the stoic willow’s branches
billow on the wind to caress my face with serenity.
Flee to the mountains,
the strenuous hike upwards, the physical exhaustion
I climb out of the pool of anxiety.

The waning buzz of stress,
Fading fright of grades,
Dwindling social burdens.
Pure catharsis.

Freedom at last.