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.