And then, when…, by Britta Benson

The last few days have been difficult, to say the least. My 82 year old dad has not been well at all and we had long, heartbreaking conversations via video calls, the only way we can be close right now. I’ve not seen a lot of light, I’ve not slept enough. My writing, however, anchors me, takes my hand and leads me through whatever lies ahead. Always. Sometimes, I have to wait for the last little line to feel whole again. But I know it’ll come. It always does. Deep down, I’m an optimist. I’m my own sun. I’ve got energy to light a universe. Gosh, that sounds pathetic! Sorry guys, I blame it on the lack of sleep. I’m prone to grand gestures. Here goes.

And then, when…

I’m tired to the bone,

right through to the marrow,

the soft spot, where it hurts the most,

waiting, always waiting for the arrow,

the first, second, last, all and waiting.

My eyes wish to close, wish to burn,

shut, shut, shut with each beat of my heart,

again waiting for the flames,

for kindling, in want of a flicker.

Soul scared of the flow,

dreams undo, unpack.

I bow my head to the sun,

won’t come.

I hum, drum, keep busy,

tongue tied, weapon of choice,

of voice, chase away demons.

Demons, deaf, stubborn beasts.

Breath slow, had enough,

lungs tight, closing in.

Silence and darkness,

the tailend of prayers.

And then,

when the night comes, my night,

time for pressed flowers,

letting go of who I am not,

rest, close, burn the old promises.

Dare to fill my lungs

with my very own roar.

4 thoughts on “And then, when…, by Britta Benson

    1. Thanks, Terveen. It’s just life, onwards and upwards. I’m glad that I have my writing. Especially on the difficult days. I suppose you could say that nothing will ever shut me up…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Britta,
    This poem’s last line exemplifies what you say about feeling whole once it comes, especially when you’re feeling most broken. Writing has that role in my life too. And what wisdom you have to know its purpose in yours at such a young age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Stephanie, much appreciated – particularly when you say ‘at such a young age’, that made me smile today… I’m 51. Might not look it, and in my mind, I’m about 12 and a half… But yes, writing is my medicine, the one action that makes a difference and gives me my power back. I think we as poets have an advantage there. Thank you very much for your lovely comment.


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