The great sufferings are upon me —
they come when the stars are heavy with debt
& chalk lines of ancestors are crumbling
in mind & outstretched hands —
when an unseen history grabs you by the throat
throttles the bars of the nervous system
designed to defend against a sweeping
avalanche of childhood wrongs.
My protector — bless him — remains
at his post like that Japanese soldier
you learned about as hope began to dwindle.
You are still an island, bayonet in hand
waging a war long deceased except
for the glitch in the mind, a software
programme ready to take the fight to all comers
who have no idea what you’re saying.
Then, with relief, you remember it’s
all happening to a character within a dream
who for a moment became unglued
while you, the watcher, exist
eternally free from harm.
Copyright Simon Heathcote