brave

I want to be brave
as I watch you wave
goodbye

I try not to cry
but my face is hot with tears
as the car steers
round the corner and out of sight

day turns to night
and missing you is an ache
that I cannot make
go away

night turns to day
with no relief
from the grief
the constant gnawing
of feelings clawing
at my insides
as I stare wide-eyed
at nothing
pain crushing
my chest
stealing my breath

I let myself wallow
allow it to hollow
me out
because without
you
I haven’t a clue
how to live
and I cannot forgive
the desertion
which followed the assertion
that you’d never leave

I was naive
enough to believe
that you wouldn’t deceive
me, but you did
and undid
the good you had done

but I guess it was fun
while it lasted
distracted
me for a bit
and lit
a spark
in the dark

so I suppose
that shows
it
was worth it
in the end
to lose my best friend

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sore

when you see blood
the memories flood
your brain
of the welcome pain
you inflicted for years

and, as that clears
you realise
to your surprise
you’re bleeding¬†without bleeding

feeding
that need to hurt
but now your shirt
has short sleeves

and everyone believes
that things have improved
when really they’ve moved
inward
towards
your core
causing more
distress
than the mess
of before
and you’re still sore

sleepless

it starts
wide-eyed in the dark

the nightmares
scare
you so much
you lose touch
with what is real

they steal
your rest
you sleep less
and less

until you are sleepless
– awake all night
as you fight
to keep the horror at bay
as your mind plays
tricks

getting a kick
out of the torment
you can’t prevent

all made up

I see you looking
overlooking
the truth

you see the smooth
exterior
while my interior
crumbles

I don’t stumble
over my words, instead
while my head
unravels
and travels
elsewhere
I stare
at the floor
at the door

while I explain
the pain
the weight I feel
that steals
my breath sometimes
confines
me to my bed

but, not hearing what I’ve said
you say
the way
I’m dressed
that my hair’s not a mess
means I’m doing well

that you can tell
from my appearance
and the coherence
with which I speak
that things are far less bleak
than in the past

and I wonder at the contrast
between what you see
and me

but of course
you didn’t see me force
myself in the shower
after staring for hours
at the wall
overwhelmed by it all

you don’t see
the anxiety
that makes me put on a show
though I know
it’s not true

and that you
won’t try to see
past that, to me

poverty safari

I saw you through
the cracked window of a different point of view

people stared, open mouthed, gawping
as though something shocking
was playing out in front of their eyes

but what they didn’t realise
was the humanity on the street
at their feet

that life was going on
and that long after they were gone
you’d still be there
while their attention was elsewhere

looking after your own
making your home

the ghost

“I don’t believe in ghosts”
I said…to the ghost

“then who are you talking to?”
he asked as I looked right through
him at the wall behind.

I tried to find
an answer that made sense

“you’re just a less dense
person” I replied
knowing I’d lied

but the alternative
was to live
with the fact
that my mind was in tact

that I was sane
and I could trust my brain
once again

poor

by day, the house is filled with warm light
by night
the dark seeps into every corner
the struggle to get warmer
blankets piled high, cooried in
not letting the cold win

as the wee one lies snug in her bed
not a thought in her head
of the hardships endured
or that fact that we’re poor

of the sacrifice made
so the bills are paid

wee me

when I was wee
I knew I could be
anything
and everything.
I was just a small girl
but I could take on the world
and come out on top
nothing would stop
me from achieving my dreams
and elaborate schemes.

but, as I grew
somehow I knew
what I knew less
people would stress
the importance of reality
so they could limit me
and I let them do it
even though in the pit
of my stomach I felt
I had been dealt
an unfair hand
this was not what I planned.

I accepted my fate
it was too late
for me
to be what I wanted to be.

I didn’t know how
I had allowed
it to happen, but it had.
it wasn’t all bad
but it was bland
not the grand
spectacular life I had seen
in my little girl dreams.

they say this is called ‘growing up’
that I am ‘lucky’.
and I am, I agree,
but try telling wee me!

 

protest (or thoughts about TERFs at Pride)

“Pride is a protest”
is the reply
when we ask why
they brought hate
with them today

they say that they
want equal rights
that they’re willing to fight
for them
and we agree
that they should

but if they could
only see
that we’re all
on the same side
the divide
in the community
the disunity
does more harm than good
and they’ve misunderstood

nestled

safety is an illusion
I’m losing
sleep over it
watching the lit
touch paper burn
as my guts churn
with dread

I lie in my bed
nestled, warm
try to weather the storm
in my mind

desperate to find
that port
as I assemble a fort
around me
the debris
from the wreck of my defence
it makes no sense
to continue to try
and I don’t know why
I do
but I do