My knees feel like Jell-O

Trembling like I saw a ghost.

The ghost of my past.

The ghost…the ghosts.

They dance with memories of mistakes.

Is this a dream?

Is this the weed of the seed that was planted?

Will faith help me uproot the doubt?

Will love cut off the sounds of fear?

I can’t do this on my own. I need a power-up.

Put me in “power mode.” It’s useless.

I alone can’t break the wall of death.

I’m not strong enough to bring oblivion to fear’s door.

I need faith like my next breath.

I know faith will spare me the effects of death.

I know faith will scare away the ghosts of all my yesterdays.



I remember trying not to cough during church.

Hold it in.

Don’t disrupt the sermon.

It’ll go over their heads and past their hearts.

But do I even understand?

Should an eight year old feel this much guilt?

The tickle in my throat spreads.

Stop it!

Too late.

Muffle it at least.

Physical eye and ears on alert.

Spiritual eye and ears are closed.

I swear (if I may) there was a bowl of cough drops.

Oh, but don’t get up.

Stay seated and stay still.

Dryer than Elijah’s river bed during the drought.

Burning like the fiery furnace.

But the distraction doesn’t burn off.

The tickle grows

and grows and grows.

My eyes soak in tears.

I can’t hold this in.

But I can’t be that kid.

Make a run for it!

Refreshing water.

Living Water in me.

That’s all I really needed.



Elijah Carbajal

Elijah Carbajal

Educator living and working in Albuquerque, NM. Author of “A Place They Love”. Lover of music. Host of “The Shut Up and Teach Podcast”.