The Poetry Snapshot: strength is undefinable

Alpental, Washington © Neha Allathur Photography

I’ve been told to stay strong.
not cry
be the rock
pull it together
and I’ve succeeded.
I’ve successfully built a wall around me,
locked up my emotions, and lost the key.

All this time I thought someone else
would have a spare key.
I’ve been looking for myself in others.
But when has a locked door
stopped a prisoner from escaping.
Perhaps, I need to bring down these walls
with the same strength that built them.
Because there is nothing weak about


This poem was inspired by a recent opportunity that allowed me to let my guard down and share a personal story to the public. After years of thinking that my strength came from internalizing my story, I realized that sharing it and allowing it to be a beacon of hope for others was my real display of strength. Strength is not limited to the constraints set by the media that showcases our lives filtered and perfected, and a culture of always putting on a happy face. Breaking through those constraints and embracing the authenticity of being vulnerable, accepting mistakes, and needing help is also a display of strength.  


Student studying Business and minoring in the School of Social Work. Passionate about documenting the world around us--the environment, the culture, and the people--through photography and poetry!

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