I know why you did it, Sylvia,
When the world becomes too painful to bear,
And seeking help means you’ll be returned to the chair,
And it’s all turned black & white and lost its flavour,
And each new mouthful is one less to savour,
Suddenly your mind has wandered back into the lair,
The clothes hurt so you don’t dress, but remain bare.
I know exactly why you did it!
The passing seasons are out there but don’t register in here,
And each new day – such work – you’re overcome with fear,
And your hands do naught but are prone to fidget,
And you’re invisible so no-one or thing can relieve it.
Suddenly you see the sickness has stolen months, nay years,
It’s only when you make the plan, you can allay the tears.
I know also what you were feeling at the end,
That past innocence and future happiness have both gone underground,
And that the awful, wooden hollowness is all that can be found,
And there’s no hidden bank of trust of hope from which you can lend,
And night’s are long and days are empty with no trusted friend,
Suddenly you only feel relief when you are still and there’s no sound,
The world mocks those with this as weak and feelings aren’t allowed.
I know only too well how you felt,
You decided to get it down and so wrote the Bell Jar,
And overwhelmed with womanly duties it didn’t get you very far,
And eagle talons ripping open your chest every day as you knelt,
And convinced yourself with wrong thoughts the evil hand that you’d been dealt,
Suddenly, they love your name but you’re gone by then, by far.
You only know relief from suffering when you’re away from the tar jar.
I know it’s all too much too late,
To tell you that I’m feeling better and maybe you would have too,
And marriage to a philanderer can send your mind askew,
And who cares that I see your and my interwoven fate,
And how we wished he’d be struck down and delivered to hell’s gate,
Suddenly I saw that it’s okay to try a different pair of shoes,
Let him go – good riddance, I say – your children could not lose!
I know you don’t want to hear about,
My years of therapy and immense love affair with nature,
And how I sing with that old razzle dazzle now that I’m mature,
And that I made new friends and to the world, I often did rowdily shout,
“… and thanks for putting up with me and not letting me check out!”
Suddenly I can flit about – the whole world is there to tour,
And those dark thoughts – those wrong thoughts – are no longer a lure.
I know I want to spread my joy:
It’s the Creatives; we all have dark nights of the soul,
And I say, “look up, ask for help – don’t fall into the hole,”
And take it out into the world with my words and life buoy,
And life – it’s so precious – don’t discard it like an old toy,
Suddenly you see, tomorrow is a new day without a toll,
We get to clutch what is left of life but only if our story is told.
©LMM – written October 2016