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Life Sickness
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Life Sickness

Poem By Jenny Byers

What did she die of? Life, I said -
It made her feel quite ill;
As if the effort of her feelings
Caused her heart to beat with caution,
And the very act of living
Willed her soul to fade and die.
Was there no cure for her dis-ease?
She never sought to find one,
Nor looked amongst her wreckage
For the source of the discomfort
That destroyed her soul;
Preferred instead to build the walls
To fight behind, blockades against small truths
And deeply buried memories, and dreams
That faded into someone else’s vision.
She used the emptiness to fill the voids
Her babies came from, strange creatures
Who seemed to feel, and need, and cry
For things she’d never owned, and could not give:
Love, compassion, mercy, words in books,
Disguises she would wear that did not fit,
Which hurt her like bad shoes, and which
She offered up with buttoned fists -
A hungry child, safeguarding her emptiness.

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