There’s something heavy sat on my heart
My heart that won’t beat, and beat,
It’s sluggish and slow, it can’t be moving now
With every breath comes a struggle
Life is muddling, a silly riddle,
And all the while, there’s something heavy
Sat on my heart, and it won’t, it just won’t go.

Go forward, go upward, they say
But it only presses me down.
Sometimes I think of it as a dark fiend,
A rogue in a cloak, or sometimes an angry
Friend, yelling, determined, you’re not sick
You’ll spring out of it, oh yes you will, you’ll see.

But were you ever pushed down, down,
Submerged, so low you didn’t think it was
Possible for you to plummet so very deep?
Or trapped, caged, like you live in a box of
Perspex, formaldehyde, limbs frozen,
Like a Damien Hirst masterpiece?

Oh, don’t turn away now, I know
You’d rather not see it, feel, it
Crawling over your skin like the scrabbling
Rope fibres of the noose.
Oh, it’s tightening, frightening, and you’ll
Want to know, is this peace?
Can I ever escape this misery?

And yet, every time you look away
And avert your eyes, no, nothing to
See here, what is it about me that
You fear? When did I cease to be the
Human one? Why do you insist, persist,
On taking the higher ground?

And beat, beat, beat, beats
Some more, the gremlin’s back,
Back at the door, oh I never sought you,
But down, down, below and behind
Your floating cavernous pools reside
Lurking, waiting, licking their lips
Impatient to swallow me whole
And this time they won’t spit me out
Relieved, I’ll stay, won’t I, in this labyrinth,
This prison that has made its home in my mind?
And yet my skin, my skin, itches to be free
And also, somehow, wonderfully at peace
Rest, rest, please grant me rest,
But it is fear that I fear the least.

Rose Staveley-Wadham