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At The Altar - Ashley Collins

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Quiet steps on cracked stone

The youngest cautiously entered

Believing she could be saved

Goodness abandoned her

She had careful steps

Evading the darkness

Kindness deserted her

She refused to let go

Engulfed in shadows

The eldest trudged behind

She surrendered years ago

Heavy, gutted soul

Her steps dragged in

Desiring damnation

Rugged, broken heart

Drowning in grief

Repining remedy

She collapsed into rock

Generational wounds

Yearning for release

Her sister knelt beside her

Pleading for forgiveness

Praying to an unseeable god

He too had forsaken them

Begging for deliverance

Two souls of the same body

Left to mend their brokenness

One hopeful, the other ashamed

Two souls of the same affliction

Bound by blood, bound by pain

Attempting to correct family sins

Not knowing if its too late.


Ashley Collins (she/her) is a MFA Writing student at the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Her work primarily focuses on giving voice back to the Black women who have had their stories consistently erased. Much of her previous work has been fiction prose writing within the fantasy genre as well as realistic fiction dealing with instances of trauma. Within the past year she has been focusing on writing poetry and using her poems to express fantasy imagery, her own life experiences as well as the experiences of Black women that do not get much attention.

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