February 19, 2017 Leave a comment
The Talking Door
‘Do you need anything?’
Basic, ambiguous, echoing, pleading, and hopeful,
A mantra, repeated countless times through the talking door,
So simple yet asking a hundred thousand questions more.
Can I get you something to eat? Can I bring up some clean sheets?
Can I listen while you talk about how you’ve been feeling today?
Can I reach into the blackness and pull your mind free of it. Can I? Please?
Each conversation, vibrated through a thin layer of lacquered wood,
Each attempt to understand, each desperate grasp at a shred of motivation,
While my insides cramp and twist and my stomach burns volcanic,
Fighting back the desire to kick the door to splinters, rip the curtains down and confiscate the duvet.
To grab you by the arm and pull you out into the morning sunlight. To save you.
But you can’t bully someone into being happy, you can slap a delighted smile across a wounded face,
You can’t take up arms and fight this battle for them, because it’s not a battle, battles end.
Have you ever loved someone who didn’t love themselves? Cared so deeply, while they thought themselves worthless?
Have you ever heard the person who brought you into the world talk about wanting to leave it?
That was my talking door, my daily dialogue with the dark spectre who stalked our home,
Belching clouds of words which scratched their way through my ears and clawed at my mind,
Reminding me that I’m trying to help someone through something I can never really understand.
Standing by that door, listening to that distant, weakened voice, barely audible from the other side,
Telling me that everything is fine, telling me that she doesn’t need anything. Lying to me, day to day.
Every cliche and platitude ever conceived blasts through your mind like you’re cracking a password
A gateway back to some measure of normality you thought you knew before, but was never really there,
Because you were growing up, and she was tangling with monsters, only now they’re stronger.
Even when you feel like you’re doing nothing though, you can’t stop, you can’t ever stop,
Even when every word of comfort you say feels like it’s shattering against a barricade,
You keep on talking, you never stop talking, scratching away like Dufresne with his rock hammer.
Most days it will feel like nothing will ever change, except that they will continue to slip away,
But you can’t ever stop, because even if it takes a million words for one to break through
And remind them that you love them, and you’ll always, always be there for them,
You keep on talking, you reach that million mark, and then you keep going.
My talking door is opening, inch by inch, and I can see light on the other side,
So I take a breath, I stretch myself, I hold my stance, and I ask again:
Do you need anything?