This is a poem I came up with on a rainy day in April. I think it speaks to all of us who have strayed in the past and perhaps struggle now:

There is a forest

With tangled vines

And sharp thorns.

She wandered in,

Drawn to the roses

That lie on the forest's edge.

As she walked, she hardly noticed

The vines begin to creep up her legs.

The roses were too pretty

And the music too perfect.

She felt a shiver go up her spine,

But brushed it off as pleasure

Instead of premonition or fear.

Seemingly out of nowhere,

The vines have made their way

To her torso, slowly wrapping

Around, the thorns begin to hurt her.

She panics, terrified of what's happening

And unsure of what to do.

She tries to run,

But the vines are too tight.

The music turns ominous,

And a harsh laughter is heard.

"I knew I would capture you;

It was only a matter of time".

She can't find the voice,

Until she looks to her left

And sees a man.

He's beyond handsome,

At first glance.

But a dark, dangerous aura

Surrounds him.

His smile is predatory

And his voice silky smooth.

"You thought you could escape me"

She whispers fearfully, "Who are you?",

Shaking in fear and frustration

As the vines continue to tighten.

"You know who I am"

He replies.

And it dawns on her;

He lured her in with something tempting

And beautiful,

Just like before.

And she took the bait.

He promised the vines would let her go,

If she came with him.

He could show her wonders

And pleasurable things beyond her wildest dreams.

She hesitates, her fear causing her mind to blur.

Something deep inside of her screams,

"No, don't go with him! His evil will take you away!"

But she doesn't have the strength to resist,

As the vines slowly sap the life from her.

Just as she is about to agree to come,

A voice booms through the forest,

"Let her go!"

She turns around as best she can,

And she sees…a man?

Clothed in white,

Shining with a golden aura

That's impossible to duplicate.

She jumps in fright

As the first man screams

In anger and fear.

"How dare you take her from me?

She's mine!"

Then the man shining in golden light

Comes closer, his voice soft but strong,

"She may have been once,

But my book says otherwise"

The man pulls out a book from his pack

That the girl hadn't noticed before.

He opened the book,

And her name was there,

In the book.

"She is mine,

Not a slave to you."

The forest trembles,

And darkness covers her,

She is suffocating now,

As evil makes one last stand.

But the man in white cuts the vines,

Catching her as she falls.

The darkness fades as his light shines brightly,

And the evil man flees,

A look of hatred in his fearful eyes.

She looks up at him,

As she knows him from before.

Shame on her face

And tears running down her cheeks.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry" she repeats,

Ashamed and guilty

Of what she had done.

But instead of facing the rejection she expected,

She felt him brush her tears away.

"Do not cry my child.

My love for you will never fade"

She whispers,

"But look what I have done,

How I have pulled away.

How could you ever forgive me?"

He tips her chin up,

And shows her the scars.

"I have done this for you,

And have taken your burden.

You have been redeemed by me.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you"

She clings to him now,

Sobbing in relief,

For he still loves her

More than she can imagine.

She is amazed and unable

To comprehend the depth of his love,

But realizes its truth.

She vows to never do what she had done again,

For she was dying inside.

But now she remembers

That he had set her free

All those years ago;

She just needed to find him again,

Even though he never left.