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Bitter Path

by Peradion

I walk the bitter path,

I walk the bitter mile. 

I drink the bitter drink,

I choke down the bile.

Behind me it follows, 

Heaving a bitter laugh.

Behind me, it keeps pace—

Assuming the form of dark shadow ink.

It whispers in my ear, 

Always leaving me hollow.

It clings,

Its arms locked around my neck, 

As I walk the bitter path.

I walk the bitter mile,

I climb the cruel wall. 

I track every trail and stream,

Never knowing where my clumsy feet will fall. 

I hold in my hands a cup

As I walk the length of the Nile—

The bitter drink, your favorite, a russet pool—

Honey whiskey to sweeten your bitter dreams.

The Thing fills my lungs full,

And I, a less glamorous Ophelia,

Traverse the broken isle

Eyes turned to the sun-less sky

As I walk the bitter mile.

I climb the cruel wall,

Biting back a bitter cry.

My hands are torn to shreds,

The jagged rock begging me not to speak my unspoken goodbye.

Around my neck, It hangs like a weight,

A monster of a haul.

I hope I'll see you there, 

That I won't be alone on that ledge. 

The wind whips my hair, 

But all I see is blue and green and brown earth.

I have never felt so small—

With infinity at my fingertips

As I climb the bitter wall.

I bite back a bitter cry

Knowing you'll never come back. 

Your feet have walked a great distance—

You've ventured hopefully from the pack.

I'm sure you've felt the same as I,

I'm sure that you've cried that bitter cry.

You've walked the same bitter mile, 

But you're the one whose reached nonexistence.

The tears burn like whiskey, Brother,

And my stomach clenches each time I close my eyes

Because I can always see your face, as if you never died. 

The Thing tells me it's my fault

As I bite back a bitter cry. 

I know you'll never come back—

You've crossed the bridge.

The cup still waits for you

If you decide to join me on the ridge.

I'll be here when you're ready, 

Even though I'll be dry and cracked. 

In this life and next, 

I'll see it through. 

Breathless, broken, bound—

I'll always continue to walk. 

Even with bloodied feet, blooded hands, 

The chokehold of grief around my throat like a necklace,

All I can do is walk my bitter path. 

Is this a review?



User avatar
20 Reviews

Points: 2156
Reviews: 20

Tue Jun 04, 2024 3:58 pm
NoOneInParticular wrote a review...

Hi there! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Hello. I saw this piece here and couldn’t not review it.

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know
From what I can tell, this poem has a very somber tone to it. It provides a lot of imagery, portraying your grief as this ever-present “Thing”, that constantly guilt-trips you and reminds you of the one you’ve lost.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements
I assume this is a culture difference, but I don’t quite understand

The bitter drink, your favorite, a russet pool—

And I, a less glamorous Ophelia,

From my very brief Google search, “russet” is a reddish brown, and Ophelia is a character from Hamlet who went mad and eventually drowned. I’m still a bit unsure if it’s the intended meaning.

You've ventured hopefully from the pack.

Here, “ventured hopefully” seems a bit odd. The words aren’t normally paired together and as such, don’t flow quite well.

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece
Like the previous reviewer said, the rhythm of the poem feels constant, like steps along a path. You use imagery to convey that feeling of pain and loss very well, for example:

I choke down the bile.

Behind me it follows,

Heaving a bitter laugh.

Behind me, it keeps pace—

Assuming the form of dark shadow ink.

The image of choking on bile makes my stomach clench. It gives the idea of being about to throw up (is throwing up from sadness possible?) and just feels terrible overall. And the way you describe “it” - I can almost see the shadowy ink followinh me as it laughs bitterly.

Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts
Overall, a great piece of work that excellently conveys the author’s emotions. Keep writing, remember to go outside and take breaks when needed!

Horizon, or
NoOneInParticular, Really

User avatar

Points: 200
Reviews: 0

Tue May 21, 2024 9:51 pm
Blackbunny13 says...

You are very talented, I hope you are well <3. I felt your pain reading this, (this is coming from an empath).

User avatar
8 Reviews

Points: 36
Reviews: 8

Tue May 21, 2024 4:49 pm
LunarAirPollution wrote a review...

Wow, this piece very clearly conveys a heavy sense of grief and pain. I especially appreciated the consistently revisited imagery and analogy of the pain/grief as a journey/path that must be walked, it eloquently describes how hopeless the narrator is feeling. The word choice casts a dark tone over the piece that also clues the readers to the sorrow of the narrator.
This piece starts off with a very solid rhythm that I felt added to the sense of 'trudging along the path' that the author describes. It seems to diverge from this pattern a few times with the longer lines but eventually finds its way back, I personally would like to see this rhythm maintained a little more but perhaps the disruption of flow was intentional.
The subject matter of this piece, though clearly relating to grief and emotional pain of some kind, remains somewhat vague throughout. I think that it could be interpretable as loss or a mental illness, or some other emotional distress. Whatever the intended topic, this piece does an excellent job showing HOW the narrator is feeling, even when the WHAT is unclear.
Overall, I thought this was excellently written and a very interesting read.
Thanks for sharing and keep writing!

Some people file their [tax] returns inside of a dead fish.
— John Oliver