Half starved I kept to the shadows
Deafened by the darkness
Unworthy of the sun and its rays.
I couldn’t step forward, or stand up
I was stuck, stranded, down in the
Undergrowth I spent my sorry days.
Cool and balmy it consumed me,
Damp and unctuous with dying life.
I wanted to stay there, a tired
Wayfarer, weary of the world and its days.
And then the darkness began to choke me
Rude earth shoved down my windpipe,
Buried alive, coughing up the dust,
Such sweet disgust, the world does not
Want me, it can’t have me, I must sink
Down, down, down, down further
Into the safe black soil, so I can linger
With my neighbours, the roots of the
Trees and their prayers, but God won’t
Hear me in my self pity
I am wretched, deserted, alone.
The skin on my body mocks me
I’d tear it off were I not a living thing.
But down here in the depths not one thing
Can live. I must grow armour, I must
Grow tall so that I can reach the light.
But the light I crave is too far away
Shrouded from my sight
I can remember warmth
I think I know how it felt on my skin
Warming, dissolving, every tender sin.
Oh, take me back, away from here
Lift me from the earth clear
Maybe I can grow again
Maybe I can
Defeat this fear, this dread, my difference
My cross, there is nothing like this loss
I cower apart, alone, away from the
Uncaring crowd. I am lost, where is hope
And what has it done for me?
And I fall to thinking, that if I quit this life
That maybe then I will be free.


Rose Staveley-Wadham