A Thousand Cranes, Volume 7 // Sample Chapter

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 7 by Ashlee Craft

Sometimes, It’s Enough

you are so beautiful & so human & so, so kind
& just recently I learned that we’ve shared the same pain
& even when it seemed impossible, we rose
because falling is the only way you’ll ever learn to fly

but even after the cure is administered there still remains the rebound
of doubt & loathing & pain, & secret tears in the night no one else knows about
that still hurt you even though you know they shouldn’t

sometimes you seem so broken :
now I know you once too had felt exactly as I did
I feel an overwhelming love & compassion for you
& I want to do everything I can to make sure you never have to feel that way again
I don’t want anyone to ever hurt you

so I ask myself what I can do for you : it doesn’t seem as if I can do enough
& I fear what if you don’t embrace me back? what if whatever I do is never enough?
what if I can’t make you feel better?
what if I cannot help you?
what if I lose you?

but then I realized maybe it’s not that complex
perhaps the answer is right in front to me
perhaps, it’s easier than I thought

… to help you, all I need to do is this :
to be to you in your darkness
what no one was for me in mine

because sometimes,
it’s enough just to be there

enough just to say silently that you too know their pain well
that you know what it’s like to feel like things will never get better
that you know what it is like to be truly lonely
& how emptiness is the worst thing you can feel
that you know what it’s like to have days when you can’t possibly see how you can make it through them
but somehow do anyway
that even on those days when everything seemed impossible
you proved them all wrong
that even though you never thought you’d be able to
you rose above it
& you survived

& it is the most amazing & beautifully impossible feeling
just to know that someone loves you
to know that it matters to them whether they see you today or not
that they want to make sure they always say hello & goodnight to you
that they think about you even when you’re not around
& that they make you feel like you belong somewhere
… that to them, you’re important
that to them, you are always good enough
you are always lovely & amazing & beautiful
that they will stand behind you
& be there when you need them most

sometimes it’s enough
just to be a comfort
reassuring them that you will never forsake them
& that no matter if they can believe it or not
that they are going to be okay

sometimes, that’s all it takes to change a life
sometimes, it is easier than you think to save someone

sometimes, it’s enough just to be there



reinventing myself as a happy person with happy moments
because I’m so tired of feeling this sad all the time
because I tried changing before & it worked for a while
but I fell again & I need things to be different this time
I need to get better from what has pained me
I need to reinvent myself as someone who can

someone who knows no incomprehensible gripping pain
nor the emptiness of an empty soul & tortured tears dripping onto the pillow
nor the despondency of never belonging anywhere,
anywhere at all
but still remembering it, remembering it all the same
remembering the moment I rose from the sand
& brushed the dust off my clothes
& said that this time, I’m going to make it, I really am
I really am
remembering it so that I do not forget where I came from
remembering it so that I can use my knowledge to help lift up others
reinventing myself & deciding what my new name shall be
then standing in the startling naked sunrise
to reveal a new person & new soul to the waiting world
because things have been this way for such a long time
& it’s time my life was better


Laughing Now

1. time held hands beneath the silver tombstone & metallic paint scraps left on the ground hurt by their own disillusions replicated only by rainy day hollers under funeral umbrellas & puddles that only reflect back your hidden face that’s wrapped in a cover of things that used to be important to you but now stare out of dead things that you turned away from & you used to be so beautiful how you were, but you changed just so you could be like them & I don’t know you

2. you warned me that everyone out there was either out to get me, jealous of me having done things I’d never done, or just trying to manipulate me into getting the thing they wanted most yet as soon as I get beyond arm’s length, I run & I’m free; you’re grasping & clasping for me to come back home, but I won’t because I know how the people around there are & I like it where I am

3. I continually try to make false ideals of what could happen in the mysteries of potential come into the light but instead desirous I sit here moping around & analyzing my experiences & hopes come true, I kept on reaching out to you after you left me & was hurt by the barbed wire you’d put on your doorstep, but I kept on walking even though my feet were bleeding because you were the only one left, but one day I was tired of being hurt by you & realized I didn’t have to bow down to or belong to anyone but myself, & in that, I started laughing at the people I’d used to know, but most of all, at the person I used to be, because none of that mattered now

4. I moved on, you no longer own me, & I no longer belong to you, so who’s laughing now – me, or you?


I’m Still Here For You

do you remember when you sat there crying out
& it seemed like no one was listening?
when I walked up to you, so familiar
& reached out the hand I’d previously pulled away?
when you shunned me
& I told you I would always be there for you
& you shunned me again

now you’re crying again
you’re broken & you’re asking everyone around you if they can help
I’m standing over here ::: invisible to you
I do not exist in your world any longer
(I wonder if you ever still think of me
I wonder if you ever think about reaching out again)

I’m invisible to you, & before that would have hurt me
but now I can stand on my own & I don’t need you
but as you ask the people in the room if they have something
anything to give to you that might help
I’m standing there
& I’m still here for you
but you’re no longer the same person as I was
when I started standing there


What I Wanted?

I just wanted to tear it all down to the ground
I just wanted to start walking & keep walking until I’d abandoned all that I’d known
I just wanted to break until there was nothing left
an empty shell of a person shrouded & already dead inside

I just wanted to slice the walls, tiny pricks & watch insulation bleed
just so the walls might know what the pain was like inside
I just wanted to burn down the cage & watch it all fall to pieces
all those times I wished that it was all over & it didn’t hurt anymore

but I knew inside that I didn’t want it to be over
I knew that I didn’t want to keep running
I just wanted it to stop hurting
I just wanted to stop feeling like a dead empty shell of a person
I just wanted to stop bleeding
& stop leaving behind broken pieces of myself everywhere I went

I just wanted to belong
I just wanted to be able to look at my life
& feel better because I knew that someone really cared
that it mattered I was in their life
that they
could see me

& finally, finally for the first time in my life I would know something other than the fact that people abandon you
finally I would stop feeling like I’d already given up long ago
finally I would stop feeling like this freaking hell of mine was all I could ever know
finally I would know that things could get better & would
finally, I would know that I was not alone
finally, I would know what it was like to have a friend

I would know what it was like to




I don’t feel good enough sometimes
although I know deep down inside that I am
& upon looking into the depths of my confused soul,
continue to feel incapable inadequate & unloved

look at those beautiful people with their beautiful personalities
their beautiful smiles & perfect hair & cool presence
& their lovely, lovely countenances that make me feel infinitely better
just by setting eyes upon them

but only recently it’s occurred to me
that perhaps to people like you
I am as beautiful & fascinating & wonderful
as you are to me

that perhaps when you see me
your whole day gets instantly better
that perhaps, just as you make me feel like I belong
I make you feel like you belong too



you came to me in the time I needed you most
a beacon in the darkness
the light that guided me home when I couldn’t do it by myself

you came to me when I was sad & felt alone like nobody cared
as if all my perceptions of friendliness had been falsities
& no matter what had changed
that I was still just as alone as I’d been before

but it was worse
because I’d found the cure, the light that had kept me going
the hope that if I could find it, everything would be okay
… but it didn’t work

& you were the one who proved to me
that I was indeed a beautiful person
worthy of being loved & admired & belonging somewhere
worthy of being happy

I can see it in your eyes when you look at me
I can see it in the way you look at me
as if I am so lovely & wonderful that you can hardly even understand it
as if just by seeing me your day gets a thousand times better
& perhaps you spend time wondering when you’ll see me again
perhaps it makes you as nervous & excited as it makes me feel when we’re close
perhaps you too lie spend long hours lying in bed marveling at the fact you know me
& maybe every time you think of me, you smile
perhaps to you, I am as lovely & as wonderful as you are to me

you confirm to me that I am good enough
allowing me to confirm to myself that I am worthy of being happy

that I am worthy of feeling like I’m enough
that I deserve to love myself
that maybe, I’m not as alone as I sometimes think I am
that maybe, I’m not a lost cause after all


Thank You Just For Being There

you were there when I needed to know that I mattered / you welcomed me so warmly / into your warm open waiting arms / / & so often now I feel like crying / when I think about how lovely you are / you are the most wonderful person I’ve ever met / I could wander thru the empty mean city streets at night with you & I wouldn’t be afraid / I could walk thru the coldest winter storm snow or pouring rain & crashing thunder & I’d still feel safer than I’ve ever felt before / I could stand on the edge of the mountain & the wind could blow & sorrow could cast its countenance upon me & I would not be afraid of falling because you would be there / / I can count on you / do you know how beautiful of a feeling it is? / the beautiful feeling of knowing whenever I need you that you will be there for me / the beautiful feeling of knowing that I don’t have to be alone anymore // I never thought I could ever feel this way / I never thought I’d ever feel this way / I never thought that there was somewhere out there for me / I never knew that there were so many nice people / waiting to welcome me into their arms & hearts / genuine in their affection / who’d miss me so dearly if I ceased to be there / whose days & perhaps occasionally destinies have been changed just because I was there // it makes me want to cry / it makes me want to cry // I used to be so isolated / (& when he claims that he knew what it was like – / no, he could never know the hell I went through) / I used to be so alone / alone / alone / alone, dead & empty inside / but from the very first time we met / I was added & embraced into your family / added to your family as if all along I was the piece you were missing & you finally found me // & ever since then I’ve been crying inside / but finally not from sorrow, but joy instead // it makes me want to cry because it’s so beautiful / & you are so beautiful / & things are becoming so beautiful / even if they still hurt sometimes // you’ve welcomed me as if I’ve always belonged / & you’ve made me feel as if everything can be okay // & you make my life happy / … I love you / because when I’m with you I am home

thank you just for being there // it means more to me than you’ll ever know

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