It is better to cry in the shower,
Because your face is already wet.
Your tears will be washed down the drain.
So take as much drenching as you can get.
You don’t have to do it alone.
That’s what everyone says.
But the act of sharing your load
Is a difficult step to take.
Nothing is working.
Begging joy to stay here
Just leaves you hurting
And riddled with fear.
You’re even disappointed with yourself.
Because you wish you could be “stronger”,
You want to be your own help.
You want to control what you feel.
To be strong (or whatever they told you that means),
But being “strong”
At least to you, that’s how it seems.
You don’t want to cry.
But you want to cry.
You don’t want to cry because…
It makes the pain real.
It brings your sorrow to life.
But you also want to cry because…
That’s all your body knows to do
In order to expel the waste.
The toxins, the hurt, the chaos
That scratch at your chest and face.
But the truth is the pain is already real,
Yet you ignore it as it paces your front yard.
And then you get frantic
When it comes pounding at your door
– when you’re home alone, falling apart.
What you don’t want to waste
You want to skip to the part
Where you’re fine.
To the chapter in which you’re happy again.
When laughter is easy
– smiles not in vain.
When you’re not spending all your energy hiding
That you’re devastatingly losing this round.
When your victory roar and fists in the air
Aren’t just illusions your imagination pounds
Into your head
To protect you
From the image of pain in your yard.
You want to skip to that part where you’re okay again.
But you can’t. And I know it’s hard.
It’s already peering through your window anyways.
It will pant after you until you address it.
And that’s not how you want to spend your days.
Let it inside.
Put on the kettle.
Ask it what matter it’s here to settle.
You may have something at home here to appease it,
Or you may ask a neighbour to help a little.
But if you don’t talk to it,
It will stay.
It will take the back yard,
Then the living room sofa.
Then it will invite its friends,
and Panic, to stay over.
They will make friends with your Insecurities.
They will kick your loved ones out.
You’ll squeeze your eyes shut,
Your words as gasps,
Their words as screams and shouts.
If you still don’t talk to it,
Then it and its entourage,
They will take the guest room.
They’ll leave hair sticking to your soap
And grime in your tiles,
And you’ll want to disappear soon.
They will play music you despise.
They will make stains that attract flies.
They will screech with the furniture as they pull it all around.
Your home will become unfamiliar
You will feel dirty in your own house.
And they will finish your bread, while pests abound.
They will slam doors,
And they will grimace
When you try to turn off the lights.
You will torture yourself,
By pretending they are dead.
Then they will crawl into your bed at nights.
Don’t wait until then.
Put on the kettle.
Ask your hurt directly
What it’s there to settle.
Pain is obnoxious with no conscience
Because it is neither stranger nor lover.
It is shameless and it is knocking
Because you are already in danger.
Hurt is just the sign of something deeper,
So don’t get it engraved into walls.
Just don’t shoot the messenger either,
And don’t ignore its calls.
I know you are afraid.
But don’t skip this part.
Breathe deeply and act now
While pain is in the yard.
The kettle screams.
You turn the fire off,
And you pour your pain a cup.
Maybe you have a friend with you too.
So you pour more, and fill it up.
As the sun lazily makes its descent,
You all sip down your tea.
You come to an understanding,
Pat dry your lips,
And dry your eyes assuredly.
You lift your head up,
Rise from your chair,
And gesture, without a doubt,
To the door, while you step forward,
And you escort this pain out.
So no hair on your soap.
No grime on the tiles.
Not this time,
Because you’ve won.
The moment you acknowledge
That you are hurting
Is the moment you become
The healing one.
You think it is weak,
But you are mistaken.
It is courage,
And strength so deep
To give in,
To watering eyes,
Naked in the shower
While you weep.
· 30/08/18 ·
© Sihle Atkinson 2018. All Rights Reserved.