Guess I’d forgotten the depth of low –
forgotten how far down I could go.
Winged creatures more sinister than simple butterflies
have made a home in my heart.
They’re boring holes and sending messages,
warning me to hide.
I know they want to eat me but I’ve run out of fight.
Even the urge to search for comfort
I hold the phone a distance from my ear,
in the unfulfilled hope
that I won’t hear the voices talking, questioning, offering goodwill, comfort, meals, walks and company, company, company, then moving quickly on to what he said, she said, who did what and isn’t it interesting.
When you are drowning inside,
discussion is low on your list of priorities.
I say that I’m hungry.
This is true, but my mutterings about supper are just an excuse
to escape another one-way conversation.
Food is an dull complication to be dealt with later.
Good people, I love you. Please leave me alone,
or rather, don’t speak out loud.
Can’t you see that the groan which issues from my throat
is a strangled scream?
Please, please don’t reach out to me with sound.
I’m hoping that silence will keep the monsters under my rib-cage at bay.
If you have something to say, I would be grateful
if you’d just write it down.
Note for my friends: Don’t worry about me – if I was still feeling this bad, I wouldn’t have managed to write the poem… such as it is.
©Jane Paterson Basil