Glory days
Cannot be my college years
I have so much more to accomplish
Battling demons from long ago
Manifested into binge eating
Drinking for happiness
Forgetting temporarily
Was once easier
Than fighting the battle inside of me
Running for so long
Afraid confronting the pain
Would cost me my life
And yet the opposite was true
Running nearly cost me everything
I hold dear
Now I fight to regain
What I have lost
My health
My strength
My endurance for pain
My success
I lament
I lament
I lament
The mourning of my losses
Brings me to my knees
My body broken
I surrender
The burden I have carried for so long
I can no longer shoulder
I beg for forgiveness
I pray I can forgive myself
I surrender
Surrender to the fears
Hopes, sadness, and aspirations
I allow the tears to fall
Washing, purifying
My tears baptize me in my new faith in myself
My body feels heavy
Fear conjures old coping mechanisms
Of inactivity
But I must carry on
This too shall pass
And a new part of the journey will begin
Fear of the unknown will always be present
New trials and tribulations
Are sure to await me
Will my reaction be one of anger?
Will I curse my luck
And declare it is unfair?
Or shall I assess my situation
Evaluate my options

And proceed logically
Expressing my feelings
In a healthy manifestation
Who do I want to be?
Thankfully that issue can still be decided

~Ashley Rose
July 5, 2013

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Dead End Job

Today sadness filled me
For I realized years fly by
And individuals stay
In jobs they do not desire
Pushed along by the passing of the sun
Another day another dollar
And then you are forty or fifty
Half your life is gone
Your dreams
Your aspirations
Where have they gone?
Chasing the almighty dollar
In unsavory ways
Your health
Your happiness
Have been sacrificed along the way
Perhaps you are serving drinks
To twenty-one year olds
Spending their parent’s money
Or pushing papers
In a cubicle
Where the superior barely remembers your name
Wherever you are
If your life is without purpose
You are lost
Barely existing

~Ashley Rose
July 5, 2013

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They say to feel
But perhaps I feel too deeply
My whole body experiences the pain
The sadness, the disappointments
I shudder
It was easier not to feel
But it was killing me
Will the emotions become less intense?
Subside in the fervor?
One can see why humans
Intoxicate and attempt to escape
This reality we call fate

~Ashley Rose
July 5, 2013

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Skinny Dipping

I walked outside naked today
It had been much too long
Since the sun kissed
My entire body
For the first time
I am alone
No one accompanies me
For this is my healing
And no one else’s
Funny how the myriad of emotions
Contains sadness
Only knowing anger
Or pleasure before
I am amazed
At how my heart hurts
My body fells heavy
And I wish to weep
Just experience the feelings
They say
I don’t like it
I wish to throw a tantrum
Like a child
Eat chocolate
But who would listen?
I am doing this for me
No one is demanding it of me
I am demanding it of myself
So instead I walk into the deep blue water
Feeling it inch up skin
Tingling cold
Hair raised
I feel

~Ashley Rose
June 22, 2013

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Smith Sisters

A tear rolls down my cheek

As I try to explain

The pain deep inside me

And how scared I am

That the demons will not go away

A comforting hand on my knee

I look to the side to gaze

Into those eyes I have known

For over twenty years

More than a friend

A sister

Deep blue eyes look into my soul

Reassurances that I am strong

And that she will be here

For she has been through it all

From fat girls

To beautiful teenagers

Our crazy early twenties

Till now

My quarter life crisis

Haylee has been by my side

Stellar athletes

We were known as

The “Smith Sisters”

Our two families

Merged into one

Soccer tournaments

Late drunk nights

Numerous boyfriend breakups and fights

We have seen it all

The world often sees us

As wild and carefree

We hide the burden

Of our pain and responsibilities

In our households

The parent child relationship

The roles were often reversed

So we took control

And got things done

Now older and wiser

Acclaimed by others

As accomplished

I have become determined

To let myself feel the pain

Of childhood memories

Long gone

Attempting to not repeat

The past and become my mother

I struggle

My quarter life crisis has begun

But Haylee arrives

And looks into me with those deep blue eyes


I am no longer alone

An old friend

To help me down a new path

I am blessed

For the Smith Sisters are the best

~Ashley Rose

June 21, 2013

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Picking Petals

I wonder if I am ready

Ready for him

Ready for us

Ready for this

I fret and frown

Anxiously awaiting

Delayed responses

Picking petals

Attempting to decipher

My fate

He loves me

He loves me not

Thoughts run through my head

My emotions run with them

Creating a warzone of feelings

I am unprepared for

~Ashley Rose

December 17th, 2013

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Pleasure is slowly becoming redefined
No longer impressed
Simply by a cocky attitude
And compliments about my body
Where is your ambition?
Does no one pursue
Their dreams any longer?
Partially forgotten nights
Lose their appeal
As I value myself more
And wish to remember
My life
My experiences
Love for myself
Means I need no one else
To complete me
To fulfill my dreams
My desires
My fate is my own

~Ashley Rose
October 24, 2013

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3 Poems of Rebirth

At times I stumble across poems that I have written awhile ago–quickly written down in a journal or saved to some obscure word document I have saved in some random file at work. These three poems were all written in less than a week in the middle of October 2013 during a time of tumultuous transition–I had been in therapy for year, had just completed my first half marathon, and started Kaia fit (a sort of cross fit for women only). I was slowly building up strength in my body but it was a constant struggle and I had to remind myself everyday why I pushed my body to the limits. These three poems really demonstrate the physical and emotional battle I was undergoing–but the result was worth every tear and drop of sweat.


I cannot understand this new pain

The progress I have made

Seems trivial

I toss and turn

Awash in a cold sweat

Trying to understand

New demons

Come from unforeseen areas

I detox

I detox

I detox

Trying to purge the impurities


Old habits die hard

Shivering I focus on my transformation

My rebirth

Laying in the grave that became a womb

Deriving strength from the earth

~Ashley Rose

October 11, 2013



Nauseous and confused

I seek understanding

Like I always do

Understanding how ignorance can be easier

But bliss cannot come from ignoring the truth

Oh truth

You are like a prize MMA fighter

Hitting me ruthlessly from all angles

I attempt to block and parry

At times it appears fruitless

Like Rocky

I have the eye of the tiger

And get up once again

To take another beating

Spitting out the blood

Defeat is not an option

~Ashley Rose

October 11, 2013



I purge

Everything leaving my system

Starting anew

On this cold fall morning

Baptized in my own sweat

Made from the earth like Lilith

I strive for more

Push myself harder

This is new but familiar

Movements from years gone by

I jump, lunge, squat

No longer just running

No time to think

One two three four

My heart pounds

My body and mind slowly begin to reconnect

The fog of years of neglect

Begins to clear

~Ashley Rose

October 14, 2013

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The Life of a Petal

Soft pink petals

Stretch towards the sun

For warmth

For food

Roots reach deep in the soil


Ever searching

Expanding territory

Maintaining boundaries

Sage green leaves

Brush up against one another

Their laughter carried by the breeze

Soft pink petals

Lay on top of one another

The single petals

Become multiple folds

Arranged in an intricate design

To become one flower

Attached to a stem

Decorated with thorns

Connected with other stems

Roses and single petals

Single items

Combine to become one

~Ashley Rose

October 19, 2013

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Anxiously Waiting


Ready for bed
And it’s only 5 pm
Thoughts of the nursery
Haunt my dreams
Waking up
Thinking about Ikea
Target and Babies’r’Us
Are we ready?
Not by a long shot
Will we ever be?
Time will only tell
Feeling my baby girl
Move inside of me
Moment of being content
Quickly forgotten
While thoughts of my To Do List
Ever looming
And knowing
I have work tomorrow
Just a few more weeks of work
I tell myself
Then you can rest
While working on the nursery
And cleaning the house….
Well maybe not rest
But at least take naps
And wear yoga pants
Exhausted and swollen
These thoughts do little to comfort
Under two months
Until she arrives
I remind myself
Excitement, panic and terror
Wash over me
Insecurity and thoughts of inadequacy
Try to invade my brain
While I battle to keep them at bay
It will be okay
It will all be okay
Drink some pregnancy tea
And breathe
Always remember to breathe
I can do this
Feeling reassured
Until the next doubt arises….
~Ashley Rose
November 24, 2014
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