Eyes of a Warrior by Saiward Turnbaugh
I’m standing in front of the mirror. Darkness draws large sweeping half-circles under my eyes. They are swollen from lack of sleep. I imagine that this must be what almost healed black-eyes look like.
What should be the whites of my eyes are splotched red from unknown irritations. Tiredness clings to them, refusing to let go. It never lets go.
The sparkle that once shimmered there has significantly dimmed; has almost faded away.
My body feels so unfamiliar, a shell that lingers around me. Unknown to me, more like a torture chamber than an actual body.
Torture. My eyes rise back up to the mirror in front of me.
Torture. It echoes in my mind.
I lean in closer to the mirror and to the face looking back at me. I peer into those eyes, searching. And through the bleakness I find what I am looking for. Within those eyes a steady determination glares, challenging me not to give up. I can now see the fight that lives there. What used to shimmer has been hardened to strength and I realize I am not lost.
The face reflected in the mirror smiles. I’m reminded of who I am. Still inside but transformed.
For while my body has become a battleground, in my eyes lays a warrior.
And so with eyes shining hard with a strength that holds me steady, I step from the mirror. I am ready to face the day and am fully prepared to greet whatever unexpectedness it may bring. I am ready because I know that a warrior lives within my eyes. I know this because I am the warrior.