No More Metaphors

No More Metaphors

By Madeline Friend

I have no use for metaphors
I no longer cloak my words.

My life is not a river.
My trials are not a rapid,
not some menial rubber to be pulled off rock.

My life is tactile; my life is my own.

My trials have names.
My trials have court documents.
My trials have trauma embedded.
My trials are trauma.

My trials are rape.
My trials are sexual assault.
My trials are stalking.

My traumas are the quiet admonitions from men,
their motions of disbelief.

My trials are complete disregard
of myself,
of my life,
of my safety,

because I am “not a priority.”

My trials are suicide.
My trials are a high risk of murder.

My trials are domestic violence.
My trials are intimate partner violence.

My trials are not a river.

About Madeline

Madeline Friend is Arizona born and raised, and southwest sediment swirls wherever she goes. 


Rivers are paramount to her writing, and working as a professional guide allows her to live and thrive in the outdoors. She has boated in the US, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, but loves to circle the eddies of Western US rivers. She guides for OARS Dories in Idaho and Grand Canyon Youth in Arizona and Utah. 

She would love to hear your input, questions, and adventure tales! You can email her at mfriend814 (at) gmail (dot) com. Read more of her writing at

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