the turning tide

It has been a bit of a mixed bag these last weeks
some days spent where you're here with me, the next not
but then the tide turns and here you are again smiling
so I try to bury that old resentment and smile back
there's no point in resenting an illness, no point at all
and yet the fact that you refuse to acknowledge the tide
or the length and depth of your absences, it scares me

It speaks of the breadth of the distance between us
what you call being a bit down has lasted some months
relentless days of silence interspersed with raging fury
but when I mention this you deny, refute and anger builds
I'm being over dramatic, trying to make it more than it is
if only I'd leave well alone things would be just fine
it's like an old tune that one, I've heard it many times

The temptation to continually avoid confrontation is huge
but the knowledge that silence makes me complicit in this
drags me almost against my will to suggest discussion
I am met with a hard stare and a trip to the wine rack
a sullen silence ensues as the wine is drunk, one glass
for I am in no mood to dull my senses further, to drown
this has proven to be a false alli in such endeavours

It's pointless having this discussion now the bottle's done
your eyes glaze as you stumble off for more, so I retire
knowing that the new day may bring a change in the tide
may see you on shore wanting to walk in the shallows with me
holding hands, laughing at the spray, enjoying the day
for the tide turns both ways although silence beckons you I know
wrapping you in your inner thoughts far from my knowing.

But I do know that you're emerging, the undertow is less
and whilst you still look wistfully out to sea you stay
more and more days here with me on the shore, warming me
keeping me company, lessening the resentment slowly
rebuilding what we have, reassuring me that you're here
but somehow this seems largely on your terms not mine
a fear of discussion does not seem a sound basis to me.

Timing is so important though don't you find? I do
to avoid things escalating into another towering rage
that leave me feeling frightened and child-like again
not scared in the physical sense although a bit I admit
more this knowledge that things said can't be unsaid
and things heard likewise although I try not to hold these
I try to let go, to give them flight into forgetfulness.

This illness robs us both, though you can't see that
your lack of acknowledgement does not negate the facts
this tide that drags you out to sea is not of my imagining
it is like the dark clouds that come for me sometimes
but I don't deny them, I tell you of their existence
although the telling makes you uncomfortable I need you to know
when the clouds gather I leave unwillingly, but I will return.

I wonder how it would be if I did what you did to me
spent weeks unspeaking, not acknowledging your presence
not washing, rocking, sitting in the dark, drowning nightly
and then daily and nightly, consumption spiralling upwards
and with it withdrawal, an ever increasing distance, coldness
if I did this would you then call it being a little bit down?
I suspect I'd find myself resident at the local funny farm.

And just as I think I've got the hang of this letting go
this shelving of the the resentment caused, there it is
in all it's bitter glory. I hate what this illness does
I hate that it takes you and makes you almost unrecognisable
turns your gentleness into something altogether harsher, harder
as the despair sinks right into the pit of your being
god I'm glad to see you back on shore my love, please stay.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this affects me greatly, for you, for he, for me and other people and things I dare not mention. You write it so honestly, so beautifully painfully. (is that even correct, ly ly?) I hope you are both found well.