I’m Still Here

The dustiness and the chalk
Belied the commonplace in the road I walked
Sweet wrappers shining like gems
And a sun seen through gaps in fingers showing
A pulsing of blood
I’m still alive
I’m still here

The journey home was a sleep walk
The fence a tower to climb
The stairs a mountain
The bed that came up to greet
My falling frame
Built a barrier
Stopping me flying apart in space

My thighs burnt on the inside
My skin stinging
From a thousand nettles
My centre raw
From a thousand tiny cuts
It’s those little deaths that stay
And never go away

Too little to be there
While now all-knowing
With a worldly-wise that shaped
And hollowed out
A loneliness of the guilty
And the fear of the hunted
A constant companion

Time and tide turned
And a casing grows
And a softening comes
And a trust is earnt
But a heart is broken
And a fear is planted
And it’s rarely far from view

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