Off guard

was ready for battle.
was aware that it would not come easy.
was prepared to endure more pain.

I expected to be knocked down and bruised.

So, I geared up.
I prepared
even for surprises that might come our way.

Thinking of thousands of what ifs
Reading hundreds of strategies
that might be helpful in navigating the maze.

I believed I trained and prepared enough,
but was still caught by surprise
when I looked around
and realized
that I have to fight alone.