Challenge, You

by Chila Woychik

I'm taking you on as a challenge because I can. I've been told I hold the world on a thread, balance it there by the sheer will of wanting to win, to do right by the stars and every lost light. And I believe it. My heart knows itself & it's learning you, blessed you. You will never be too much, never not enough, but when you are, I run to my mountaintop and stare into a sky that to everyone else may seem empty, but to me is full of possibility and new clouds, tomorrows and moment by moment heartfuls of fresh strength. I learn patience; I renew. This is the way to approach fall leaf piles and flat tires, sheep run amok and neighbors cold and cruel. This is what life should be, and how I've come to live it well enough.

Chila Woychik (she/her) is originally from the beautiful land of Bavaria. She has been published in Cimarron, Passages North, and others, and has an essay collection, Singing the Land: A Rural Chronology (Shanti Arts, 2020). She won Storm Cellar's 2019 Flash Majeure Contest and Emry's 2016 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award. She currently splits her time between Iowa and Georgia and edits the Eastern Iowa Review.