The Wall

Locked safe inside your fortress walls-
The walls you’ve built your whole life long;
Your steely fears and concrete points of view
Now quite surround you,
Shutting out the light.
Your walls are tall and thick,
Confining you in your solitary world-
Not so much a fortress now as a prison.

You mark your hours with cigarettes,
Each one burning down to
Nicotine stains seared into the thickened skin
Of your trembling hands,

Morning is black coffee
And evening is bourbon
And the many pills for your many ills
Are your companions through the day.

When darkness falls your
Sleep is meaningless,
For even in repose
Your prison walls are there,
And your restless silence grows,
Deepening your despair.

And so you spend the hours waiting
For nothing in particular
Or perhaps for that sweet release
The sting of death affords.

That final toll cannot be greater
Than your self imposed hell
Of narrow-minded bricks of lead,
Unyielding bars of bitter fear;
But only time will tell.

by Vicki Ellis

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