Hope Is…

Hope Is…

…not a heart in a tree…
not loftily floating out of reach
not sitting on a gilded throne
not residing in some mystical realm

It is not guarded by angels high
glittered by faerie dust
or plucked from a flower garden
planted by seeds of heart hardened

An illusion…this word, these letters four
cannot be grasped by hands rich or poor
it is not attainable by prayers
it will not bow on command

It is not tangible or visible
it dances to no one’s tune
you cannot buy it with money
it does not arrive gift-wrapped

Hope is…

when you are beaten down
when the smile is replaced by a frown
when you are on your bruised knees
and you decide to stand on sore feet

It is the moment you want to give in…but don’t
it is when your heart feels like breaking
yet you break it open wide again and again
daring to love despite the risk present

It is when you wake up in the morning
when you didn’t want to…and rise
It is when you refuse to succumb
to the pounding of the dark tides

Hope is composed of the moments you decide
to continue your path despite all there is to spite
it’s knowing that there is always light, your light,
even in the darkest of night

Hope is stained, dirty, tattered,

it is born from the ashes of the phoenix…

You are
that phoenix,


is you.


~ Emily Clapper



This was my first submission for The Strix on the topic “hope.”  I needed to remind myself of my own words today, as I am at that place currently of pulling myself out of a dark last five months that at every turn wanted to keep me down: riddled with injury, illnesses, and family trauma and repeat. And now finally, another chance to pull out of my cave and try again. I’ve been in various places emotionally, overwhelmed by the thought of the work ahead. It’s a long road, but I’m starting over, and I’ve been here many times before. It’s a fight, but a fight I will win.  And it all starts with waking up, and taking one step forward.


21 thoughts on “Hope Is…

  1. For the past 6 to 12 months I’ve tried to live by a simple mantra. Never let hope die. I Don’t remember exactly when I started saying it but it gives courage to fight. It doesn’t mean keep doing chasing someone or something you want hoping they’ll change their mind or that thing will fall it your lap. It simply means you are worth living and worth a good life, try everything you desires, live in abstract thoughts knowing that you can achieve can fight can win. Sure the targets can change the rules can alter but you never let the hope die that you will be you and that person will be happy. This is a gorgeous piece, it inspires and challenges and I hope rereading it yourself brings you peace and courage. Remember you’re awesome and life is at your mercy don’t let it pretend it’s got the better of you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great pep talk, Cameron. Thanks 🙏🏼 I never give up, but it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle or have my moments where I want to. I’ll crawl my way back no matter how long it takes. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We all have those moments. I’m in the throws of one now but I’m focusing on all the wonderful people here. I didn’t really intend for this to be a prep talk. As ever I just started rambling and it turned into what it is. I hope it wasn’t too preachy. You shall crawl back and find people to cheer you on as you go. 💖😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wonderful poem Em. I loved how you first said what hope was not, then said what it is. I agreed with your sentiments very much. Hope is a very intangible thing, yet in our darkest hours/times it’s what keeps us going despite pain, trial, etc. Wise girl you are Em 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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