by Jonas Ellison
Since I was a boy, I’ve fought to reach this fence. My father died trying to reach it. His father did too.
And here I stand. Grasping the cold, gritty metal in my palms and testing the sharpness of the barbs on my fingertips.
Promises of freedom lay just on the other side. A way of life without struggle. Sovereignty.
And here I am. One step away.
I’m afforded some time to take this moment in. I ditched the police miles ago — days, actually.
Instead of hopping over this thing, I’m frozen as a revelation takes place on the screen of my awareness.
On the other side of the fence is a vast stretch of land just like the one I’m standing on. If I were to remove this man-made fence, I’d be standing in the middle of one huge pasture under a sunset that stretches to infinity on all sides.
I should cross. But my feet don’t want to.
I’m experiencing a standoff between body and soul. My soul knows something. It has for years, maybe lifetimes, but I’ve been too stubborn to listen to it.
Now, it’s loud and clear.
This fence is just a wrangly old borderline that men forgot about years ago. It rots and crumbles and the barbs are dulled by years of extreme cold and blistering heat.
There’s no police because there never were any police.
The fence I’ve been fighting to cross is in my mind. It’s an illusion I placed there that never had to be there in the first place.
And just like that, the fence is gone.
I sink to my knees then lay on the ground and gape at the orange sky as it fades to dark purple and blue. Crickets begin their symphony and the stars take center stage.
I am free. I’ve always been free.
The journey is over. Or has it just begun?
I am free.
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