Let’s start with how it is.
The canal’s too still. You can’t describe the sky
because your eyes won’t lift.
By the air’s bitterness you guess
it’s clear with a sharpened moon.
Your eyes ache. You have no gentleness towards yourself.
You wander the cottage of ghosts and shadows
with a posthumous numbness.
The windchimes, hollow and restless,
catch the breeze and are shrill.
Neither whole nor young, this sickness
has broken your will.
This pain will be marked in the tissues:
a notch, a scar, a twist in the grain
the body remembers. Now rain’s fierce.
The cat’s howling: wet and pitiful.
You promise if you shift
your aching limbs to let him in – feed him, dry him –
you will put pen to page.
So here’s a note to be found in a box in years:
If only to do, to see, to say –
whatever joy I gathered from today
I weathered this night in November
and if you’re reading this, I found the courage.
I caught myself.
(Kitty Donnelly is a nurse and a poet. Her poems have been published in Acumen, The American Journal of Poetry, The Fenland Reed, The Dawntreader, Mslexia and has work due out in Sentinel Literary Quarterly and Granta amonst other publications. kittydonnellypoet.com )
The Beautiful Space-