Carry A Poem

Of my favourite poems, the only one that I really carry around with me often, is W. H. Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’. I think the last part is beautiful.

 When I was younger I had a habit of scribbling down favourite poems in the margins of my notebooks, and there was a couple on the back of my timetables. My favourite of those is ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou, which I recommend you check out. I searched out my copy of it, which seemed very out of place between my juvenile doodles and written with lurid gel pens on the back of a ridiculously brightly-decorated timetable. I’m unsure if part of the poem was used in an advert about domestic abuse. The one with the floating white feather? I’d be interested to know if it is the same.

Anyway, the poem I chose to use is one of my own: ‘What I Lost You To’. Of all my work this is probably my favourite, which is more to do with the rhythm than the mood. Strictly speaking it isn’t about any one person, although written in a confessional style.

What I Lost You To

You act as though you ever had a choice

With your sore eyes dark and your skin still moist

Was this what you lost your childhood for?

The shame, the barbs and the uproar!

Is this what you grew up for?

What it all blew up for…

Is this what I’ve lost you to?

Those big hands leave their mark on your skin

The purple-blue; the invisible and the stench of sin

I hate that they beat you; hate that you allow

Lips forced on yours in the here-and-now

You swallow more pills and you swirl them around

Numbing this out with the bottle you’ve found

Is this what I lost you to?

Your swagger denies you’re broken inside

Your wiggle; their flies; your broken insides

And your hope’s getting harder to be found

And it hurts to watch when you’re around

Broken skin when you’re unbound

Spike your spirit; you slump in a mound

Is this what I lost you to?

Hooked up to your drip your mind’s ready to slip

How much more morphine until you just trip?

And every time it’s us alone you whisper

You know what you do this for

Tears glaze your eyes like the drugs

And I’ve got to avoid the stitches for your hugs

Is this what I lost you to?

You always go back and you always! you always go back

Claiming it’s your choice when you get another smack

I’ll never judge you; always love you and I’ll always be around

But I wonder for how long your humanity can still be found

This isn’t your choice and we know it never was

They used you and they broke you without a cause

Is this what I lost you to?

Is this what I lost you to?

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