Autonomy.

by Poet on the Piano   Mar 25, 2021


I'm tired of people calling me "sad",
using it as an excuse to get too close,
to gawk at the fraying edges, reaching
out with grand yet foolish gestures
in the hopes of saving me from corrosion;
they invade my space, searching for spare
change between my crowded organs
when all they ever find is lint.

I'm tired of being labeled "pessimistic",
told that I'm not squinting hard enough to
spot the sunbeams in the lion's mouth.
Lately, I've felt I'm only minutes away
from being eaten alive. Minutes show
little mercy; time - a predatory ritual.

I'm tired of being called a "downer",
as if I chose any of this, as if positive
thinking is a lightswitch I can turn on in
every room, like it's not a more complex
issue than broken bulbs or a power outage.
My amygdala has gone into overdrive,
emotions and memories and toxins
pouring out like gamma rays.

I'm tired of being told to hang on,
to grab the nearest, most sturdy branch
and learn to tighten my grip and defy gravity.
I'm tired of being told that it gets better,
that "this too shall pass", when no one
can claim my trauma, or try to merge it
into their own; my heart is not an estuary,
and I don't owe you an ounce of gratitude,
even if one day, you are the one who finds me.

9


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Latest Comments

  • 2 weeks ago

    by Em

    I totally understand this..
    You seem to be taking a walk in my shoes, as in, I could have written this myself for I'm sick of this damned same thing to... People saying "cheer up," or worse saying "you've got nothing to be depressed about" like they even have a clue.
    I just hope that no matter what they don't have to go through what we've had to do then they don't have to feel even an ounce of our pain because I wouldn't even wish it on my worse enemy.

    A fantastic, thought provoking piece that we should walk a mile in someone else's shoes before judging or before even jokingly saying they should cheer up because we could be stood next to someone who is fighting the hardest battle of their life and we have no clue what-so-ever.
    Do take care,
    Em xx

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Everlasting

    as if positive
    thinking is a lightswitch I can turn on in
    every room, like it's not a more complex
    issue than broken bulbs or a power outage.

    ^ actually positive thinking is kind of like that ... a light switch. If by turning on the light switch nothing happens, change the lightbulb. If there’s a power outage, you got to wait until is fixed or move somewhere where there isn’t one, that is, if being in the negative light affects you to the point you cannot take it anymore.

    I hope you are doing well.

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Ben Pickard

    It does get...depressing being told to cheer up constantly, doesn't it? Especially by those people who don't suffer and so can't possibly understand.
    This is superb writing, MA, and brimful of great lines, with my personal favourite being the one with sunbeams and lions! Truly, excellent imagination on display there and throughout.

    Take care, and when you feel particularly miserable, stick some moving music on and just know that you have the ability to connect with it in a way all those naysayers couldn't possibly. And that is the same reason you have the ability to write like this: an emotional understanding and sensitivity, and there are reasons enough in that to find some measure of happiness.

    • 3 weeks ago

      by Poet on the Piano

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Ben. It means a lot!

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Michael

    Nicely penned MA,
    I like the independence theme here, and also how we can be judged and seen within society
    M

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Keira Pickard

    This is beautifully written free verse. Each turn of phrase/metaphor/simile fits so well and the title is very clever.
    It's a sad write, but, in that, a powerful one. As far as I can see - and unfortunately, I'm a stickler for grammar, lol - there's perfect punctuation throughout. I loved the emotion in the last line and also the language throughout.
    I think I was slightly thrown by the term ' lumpy organs' in the second to last line in the first stanza. I'm particularly squeemish, so that made me feel a little sick and still, it works really well with the poem because of the. . . Imagery, haha
    Anyway, I enjoyed this free verse a lot, despite my ridiculous tendancy to squirm as any kind of mention of guts or gore :)

    • 3 weeks ago

      by Poet on the Piano

      Keira, thank you so much for your insightful comment! I may re-evaluate the "lumpy organs" part because it sounds kind of awkward now. I was trying to make an association between "lumpy cushions/sofa" to fit in with "spare change", but I was going back and forth on how to phrase it. Your point is helpful - no matter how squeamish you are lol. Thanks again!

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