I am so tense the back of my neck aches
Sinew twisting & turning
Tightening like a fast creeping ivy
Strangling its host tree
Crushing it slowly in its vice-like grip

I feel two enormous hands surrounding my skull
Squeezing & pushing down my head into my shoulders
Pressing their clawed thumbs into my forehead
As its bony fingers shove themselves roughly
Into the nape of my neck

Heavy weights hang off my shoulders
Pulling me downwards
I can barely lift my head
I have aged 40 years in an hour
My eyelids try to force themselves closed

They don’t want to see the damage
Scared to see the look of fear
& terrible bone-weariness of their owner in a reflection
Depression smacks me in the brain
I drag my gravity bound body to my bed

I don’t even take my shoes off
I insinuate my aching bulk under the covers
Pulling them over my head drowning out the terrible light
There I lie fetal & damaged I am lost in the blackness
That gnaws at my soul & spits out my gristle

My bed – a safe place for oblivious & dark thoughts
Until the tension starts to ease
I see in my mind’s eye – a slight chink of sky blue
I become less afraid of the light
The ‘hands’ pull away & the ivy rots back

The shoulder weights drop off & I can think again
Think of the things of the light
Bright things, a walk outside, a new book
The smell of fresh, scented flowers comes back to me again
This time I just lost a day

I am frightened for the next time
That this happens & it may not lift
To be permanently in a state
Of dread & fear & hopelessness simply cannot be borne
But this time I put the kettle on open a window – and breathe

(c) Kate McClelland 2016

Check out Kate's blog and the original post here.
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