Poetry

Sinew

The tin plate is tacked over my mouth before I can even get the words out.

This body is mine, I breathed into it,

I gave it nutrition, trained it, nurtured it

until it grew enough to have my mind accept it.

Now I’m being told it’s only fit to be measured by eyes and instruments

that clinically access its worth.

To me it is lifeblood,

to them it is meat.

Poetry

Grey Rainbows

Mountains rooted either side of my neck today,

watered by the grey clouds circling above.

The orange was mocking and overbearing,

a sour fruit

bereft of all zest.

It painted my mood with sepia,

and I worried it would stay that way,

conscious of what it may cause me to do.

But you were patient

and willing to overlook,

happy in the knowledge that I at least knew

what I was like

slumped against the day.

You brought rivers of music,

chestfuls of laughter

and an evening of family chatter and games.

The colours of myself returned

and wrapped me in a warm blanket

embroidered with pieces of your heart.

Poetry

Mantle

It’s the weight of this top that’s pulling me down. The fabric

tugs at my arms, my back, my chest, waterlogged even on dry days.

A friend offered to wring it out once, they gave it back to me after an hour

with a haggard look in their eyes. ‘It’s too much. Too much for me

to bear,’ they said. I wasn’t angry. It’s hard, I know.

I’ve tried dying it, changing things up to look more cheerful.

Sewing buttons and toggles, weaving in different threads,

but it never works. It’s never satisfying. Never satisfied.

I know the only way to take it off permanently

is when it disintegrates, but it makes me feel guilty and disloyal

to think like that. It’s been there for me my whole life,

keeping me warm,  protecting me. I should be there for it.

I should. Yet the weight is so much that I can barely move now.