Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Think I am a Traveller Escaping From a Bear

“I’m feeling rather funny and I don’t know what I am –
Round about
And round about
And round about I go—
I think I am a Traveller escaping from a Bear;
I think I am an Elephant,
Behind another Elephant
Behind another Elephant who isn’t really there …”
from Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne

i told my husband
i was suffering from
Sylvia Plath Syndrome
Sylvia Plath, poet
mother of two or three
wife of a coldly
ambitious husband
put her head in the gas
oven. She made a mistake.
She thought she was roasting dead meat.

i found myself
curled in a ball
of terror on the carpet
the hair on
the back of my
neck was
i was cold
covered in sweat.

i made a desperate
urgent phone call.
you need chemicals to get you out of this one
i cannot help you -
it was my best friend.

i clothed naked bodies
i filled empty mouths
i kept dirt and disease at bay
i healed open wounds
kissed, consoled, calmed, cajoled
until i screamed
and frightened my children

my friends left me
the phone slept in it’s cradle
i rang everyone
i am lonely i said

i put my self in the hands of a young professional
she listened to the symptoms i described
she saw a sick woman in the chair
she didn’t see me
she seemed to think
i was too happy
made too many puns
my dress bizarre
eyes wet with tears
body fading away
i could not care for myself
i had no-one to care for me.

in the presence of a pink consulting room
a stone faced woman
in a black and white
knife pleated skirt
offered me a natural substance
to be injected into my veins –
for the rest of my life.

running I tore
flaming hair from my head
I called upon
the earth
the sun
the moon
the stars
heal me i cried
heal yourself they replied

at home
Grandma cooked, ironed, mended.

time passed
in my brain
chemicals re-aligned themselves
nasty bits blotted out
pleasant parts illuminated
patience returned
my thoughts grew wings.

And then
in a gentle breeze
one kind afternoon, I began to soar!

Published in “Private Entrance”
Editors: Diane Beckingham Mary Hicks
Samphire Publications
Subiaco Western Australia 1990

No comments:

Post a Comment