Creeping vines
twist around bloody roses,
encasing her body like armour;
circles of thorns, like a
silent threat
decorate her brave flesh
in a failed bid to protect her.

If you think she is dangerous
you’ve misread the signs.
Witness her numbing pain;
feel the white space that surrounds her.
I could say I’ve known her to break
but she was broken long ago,
and the cracks were never erased.

I want to find a way to make her whole;
dissipate the gaps in her soul.
I don’t know if this is love
or compassion or both,
but her sudden laughter is like a gift,
like the sunrise,
like a child’s kiss, like a hug from my sister,
giving me a lift;
making me feel worthwhile,
but when her eyes fade to the distance
I am bereft, knowing she has slipped
into bleak self-loathing.

I tell her she is a success
and  she can think I’m crazy
as long as she trusts what I say.
It’s true she hasn’t slayed all her demons,
but they have sharp teeth and strong defences.
Bravely, day by tiring day
she fights to keep them at bay,
and to me
she’s an Amazon.

I would like her to know
that although we only meet in passing,
I am her friend.

Written for The Daily Post #Witness

©Jane Paterson Basil

31 thoughts on “Amazon

    1. I only see her at the gym, and not more than once or twice a week, but I know her as if we grew up together. she’s so deeply unhappy, and yet she has this way of laughing suddenly at something I say or do, and the world becomes more beautiful…
      Maybe she has been my twin at some time.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the way you’ve seen the strength in her, even though it sounds as if it would be easy to focus on her frailties. It’s good to be an amazon, tough and self reliant. We could all do with a little bit of that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you pretend hard enough, people think you are an amazon, and that’s almost as good as being one 🙂
      That’s something I’d like to help to teach her. Then there’s self-esteem – the team at the gym are already putting everything into that. YAY! GO30 is the best! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Self esteem is a tough one to instill in someone who has very little. No matter how much you tell someone they’re great, if they’ve believed they’re not for decades, they might never change their minds. We’re so conditioned aren’t we? Let’s hope that going to the gym helps – sounds like a positive place to be 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. She goes six days a week – not many of us do that 🙂
          She’s trying to lose weight, cut down on chocolate, give up smoking, inprove her fitness, find a fulfilling relationship with a long-haired biker… she’s 49 years old and she’s bipolar. Her life is a battle.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s a lot to handle. Exercise can be a way to maintain control sometimes – I’ve used it as such when other aspects of my life were spiralling away. At least it’s healthier than other addictions

            Liked by 1 person

                    1. Haha! So very, very close 🙂 Actually something to be said for that – those Christian supplicants who mortified their flesh in the ‘glory of god’. I suspect there was a little masochism going along there too.

                      Liked by 1 person

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