I’m an optimist with a shadow who pops in now and then
Just to let me know he’s still around.
He lies dormant like a bindweed vein in winter,
Watching for that glimmer of light
Anticipating his chance to make an entrance
I catch a glimpse from the corner of my eye as he flits by
If my days have been sunny, when the light floods in and I think that maybe I’m winning
He’ll remind me, that the light shows spiders in dark corners,
Dust that’s been swept under countless rugs,
Nasty little secrets that have to be kept
From grubby to filth, from clean to obscene
From the dark side of life and all in between
In his presence or absence my brain has been scarred, on repeat, to believe he’s my master
I’m aware that I’m weak and should fight back but I lean on him for the answer
When on days I’m too fragile, he’ll take the helm
He’ll lie on my chest to constrict my breathing
Block up the door to prevent me from leaving
Cover my mouth with his hand if I cry out for help
Spin his cobwebs of doubt, my judgement affecting
With the devious lies that I’m always expecting
Infiltrating my mind so I can’t see clearly……..
I don’t want to
Convincing me that I’m worthless,
That I’m not like the rest,
That I’ll never fit in,
That no one would ever understand me
It’s a lie he suffuses to keep me contained in the uncomfortable comfort of my nightmare
Encouraging me to pick up the blade, just a little slice will help me breathe easier
He’ll approve my desire just to stay in my bed with a bottle or two of red
Just to smooth away the rough edges
If you ask my opinion I’ll smile and I’ll say,
‘You just have to do it, you have to be brave
Make the changes you need and don’t be a slave to your Shadow’.
She wore those big boots for crushing dreams
Her sarcasm dampened ambition and desire
In a muddle, such a puzzle of miscommunication
Made it hard to understand
Any form of conversation
So we skipped it.
I should have questioned more
But brain cells scattered
In a moment of distraction
While she swam in my detraction
I fell in.
Though in my kaleidoscopic view of distortion
I still knew that she was broken
But I presumed I was a token of her affection.
I found it difficult to see through the veil disguised as love
Although, I noticed a vein of disdain in the stories she told
Of those who had gone before
I simply blinked and it was gone.
The more I gave the more she took
Till I had no more to give
She drained away my power
Sucked my life force while I slept
Made demands on time as lovers often do
Now I patch her up with pieces of me
Till there’s nothing left of me to see, but her
Her personality ping
Her comical quips
A style that dazzles and gives the impression
She’s so much more than she is
I’m somebody else’s someone
I’m the secret that holds her together, who holds me?
Inside me there’s a tiny voice that screams ‘help me’
I need someone to lean on sometimes too
But they’re all too busy taking
They don’t see me breaking
When they’re busy image faking
To hide the fact that their empty
Till a fixer just like me takes up their case.
Fodder for the lacking
To give the aimless aim
Swallowed in a fog of nerves and indecision
Trying hard to please
While ducking the slings and arrows of false allegation
The veil wears thin
On transparent skin
Blue veins that pump life
Slow to realise
Like a splash of cold water to the face,
I suddenly understood
You can’t make your home in a person
And set up home for good.
So, I polish you to make a claim
You’re everything for all to see
While I concentrate on fixing you,
I don’t have the time to think of fixing me.
Artist and former chef Fay Deller is originally from the east end of London. After spending 10 years in the Algarve raising her daughters, she landed in Nottingham. As a constant scribbler, she was recently persuaded to share her work at a spoken word event. Thus a seed was planted.