Reconstruction Derby

They were sick, these people

 who touched me and my life and made it into something

 Sometimes the mould was beautiful, exquisite and filled

 With intricate patterns and fractal ideas.

 And sometimes twisted, grotesque

 images of nightmare gargoyles and corridors with no end

 No safety in sight, no control.



But this was not mentioned,

 not when my mother took to her bed at four in the afternoon

 And didn’t get up until the following morning.

 We built around her, not understanding

 That a part of her was walled in with more than concrete blocks

 That she was scared and wanted to get out.


It was not mentioned

 when a thirteen year old girl took her charge into the bathroom

 And unknowing, mimicked the behaviour of someone supposedly trustworthy

 Or when a lover started telling their partner

 To cut contact with all their friends.



It was not mentioned until

 a crying shaking woman stumbled up three flights of stairs

 To a doctors office, and opened the door to a tangled path

 Of self awareness and bureacracy and pills and

 A little understanding, sometimes.


In the corridors it is quiet, though the internal screaming tingles the skin


and here it becomes so clear that the enemy is silence, the fear of angering something

 far more powerful than ourselves

 a nameless beast that stalks around us at work as we talk as we learn as we eat

 Having us apologise in every sentence gesture and smile at an acquaintance

 while its presence assures us, this is for our own good.



But what if we spoke? What if we stood up for our shapes

 Imperfectly manipulated as our clay might be and

 acknowledged the need for patches and repair in some parts

 and proudly proclaimed the beauty of others and shared the materials and worked with them

 solo and in pairs and in teams and applauded the result?



This was not our intention, our direction, our idea.

 Give us our tools, we’ll try

 To use that crowbar to lift

 Rather than bash your skull in.