Lillian Van Gelderen
Hart High School
“Dear Determination”

Dear Determination,
Please show who you are,
to me and to the world.
You are needed,
but not known.
You are yearned for,
but not met.
So please, oh please,
show us who you are.

Are you a sprint,
lasting only as long as we think we can?
running the race,
going all out,
then giving up
after 52.7 seconds
because only one person had passed?

Are you a weak minded soul,
who has lost all of their self-control?
Have you fallen back under the spell,
that has once labeled you as an addict?
Have you given up
on trying to gain back the trust
from the people who care for you the most?
Have you given up
on trying to save yourself?

If there is a bump in the road,
do you give up hope, trying to pass?
If something happens
when you had almost passed,
That you had yearned wouldn’t,
would you give up right then and there
because you would believe you couldn’t?

Oh, dear Determination,
I believe I now see,
what you mean to the world and me.

For you are a marathon,
and you are long and tiring.
I watch as people pass me by,
but I know I am running my race
because you are running along my side.
So I don’t give up,
and I run through the line,
as I turn my head to smile at my time.

You have torn apart the labels:
You have broken the spell,
with the help of you,
they are free.
Free from the chains of shame and humiliation.
Maybe they have won back their love,
or have been embraced once again,
from their family they had once lost
and feared would never see again.

You are the final payment,
and the cap and gown,
after countless hours
of all work and no play.
You are the late nights of studying,
the early mornings of classes,
and the tiring shifts of waitressing in between.
The tears shed,
the headaches pounding,
the eyes drifting.
But it was worth it.
It was all worth it.

You take unwanted situations,
and turn them into beautiful outcomes.
You turn the bumps in the road,
into a thrilling ride of joy and glee.
You use the criticism of others,
and build it into a stronghold for motivation.
You use the hatred toward ourselves,
as a passion to work harder,
to change what we loathe,
to push ourselves for the better.

You help someone climb their mountain,
fight the winds,
and overcome the struggles
they couldn’t win.
With you,
they are able to stand on top of their mountain,
with one world behind them,
and a new one beyond them.
They can hear the wind
whip through their hair
and curl itself around their limbs,
as they stand, arms stretched free,
as free as their souls in this very moment.
They can see the colors of the skies above,
the skies of freedom,
and love.
They have used you to their will,
and in whatever the need.

But the funny thing is, dear Determination,
you have been with us all along,
within our minds and within our hearts
we have just never opened the door,
To set you free.

Dear Determination,
this is what you mean
to the world and me.

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