People are looking puzzled when speaking to me
and I know what it is, I sense my withdrawal
from my sense of then re-connecting with now
but I feel this crushing anxiety building up
awful shaking, images start gearing up so I leave
and rushing down the corridor I get to the Ladies.
I lock myself into a cubicle shaking, weeping
hoping that I am alone for I forget to check
in my rush for privacy how stupid that was of me
but he's here inside my head doing those things
I can feel it happening even whilst I wrestle
to get back to the present, back to right now.
I remember what I was taught so I try to breathe
I try to keep the breath coming in and out, and in
calming, quietening my panic, the shaking subsides
and as I quieten and listen I realise I'm alone
it's OK no-one is there, so few women here anyway
I wonder how to go back to the meeting after this.
As it's all men I could says it's ladies problems
a handy excuse I have never yet found a use for
but the teasing would be unbearable after that
it's the same for anything making them uncomfortable
bloody women I hear them mutter, silly, stupid cow
all lads together then, it's to be expected I suppose.
It's the least of my worries really but offers focus
a distraction from the aftermath of another episode
Breathing, must remember breathing, start that earlier
I can feel the tension lessening the fear receding
time to get a grip, to face the music once again
smiling is so hard to do some days don't you find?
Praise Song by Lucille Clifton
14 hours ago