We Won’t Make It

I’m scared that I won’t make it –

That my future will be crushed out of me

When the engine fails and the plane

Plummets

Down

Down

Down,

Metamorphosing into incandescent wreckage

 

And

 

I’m frightened that he won’t make it –

That he’ll miscalculate. And OVERDOSE.

And at midnight the call won’t be his –

No,

It’ll be from the ambulance crew that

Couldn’t

Save him

 

And

 

I’m terrified that they won’t make it –

That they’ll be run down or stabbed or bombed

Whilstouttogether

And that I’ll lose both my rocks

At once,

Leaving me no ground to

Stand on

 

And

 

I’m just scared that we won’t make it.

 

A.N. I’ve become painfully aware of the fragility of life over the past few weeks, in light of the bombings in Manchester and Afghanistan in addition to other tragedies that I’ve been hearing all over the news. I won’t pretend that it hasn’t affected me, because it has. It’s changed my whole outlook: I no longer see the days of myself and others as unlimited, but numbered; I no longer believe that these news stories won’t happen in my own world, because my Earth and that Earth are the same. In some way, it is good to be in touch with this reality as it means that I am a lot more appreciative of what I have. On the other hand, though, I recognise that I can’t let these happenings distract me from making the most out of my life. After all, if I can stay level-headed then perhaps I can make a change to even a fraction of this mess.

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Panic

One minute,

You’re fine.

 

The next,

Your hands feel tingly, buzzing.

You’re overheating.

Your heart is sprinting a marathon.

Your legs feel weak.

As though your youth has been zapped and

Replaced with the senility of a gelatinous pensioner.

You can’t breathe

You can’t talk

Your calves give way

You collapse in hysterics

But lack the oxygen

To even express your pain.

 

A.N. This poem is about my first panic attack, and the last from this collection. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. I wasn’t anxious about any particular thing, but all that had been stressing me to do with school, extra-curricular activities and my personal health must have been building up and up until it all got too much. I remember having to sit down at every chance as I struggled to make it home, then collapsing on the floor in tears in front of my family, who took me to A&E. It is written in second person in order to allow readers to imagine experiencing the changes for themselves, or to create empathy in those who have gone through something similar.

Old Ways

I’ve come so far since

I was petrified of juice –

Dessert was a veneer of cake –

My hands were permanently blue;

I’ve come so far since

My heart hammered before ‘mountainous’ dishes –

Hormones became like fae –

Calories dictated my choices;

I’ve come so far since

I refused to clear my plate –

Fullness equalled guilt –

Clothes hung off my frame.

 

I’ve come so far since

I cried over biscuits and milk –

Sitting bruised my tailbone –

A snack was an overdose.

 

I’ve come so far since

I lived to befriend death

 

I’ve come so far since

Then.

 

A.N. This poem is one of my most personal, it being about my struggle with disordered eating and subsequently an eating disorder. I have been maintaining a clinically healthy weight since January 2016, but every now and again this  poem serves as a reminder of the ‘life’ that I do not want to go back to. The title Old Ways is borrowed from Demi Lovato’s song on the album Confident; it relates well to my own experiences, especially considering her own history of eating disorders. My decision to make each stanza shorter than the other is meant to reflect my leaving the disorder behind.