Driving Forwards

There was traffic on the A19
The toll of incorrect change and
Passes in the wrong lane
Past the deadline for paying, again.

If one day the heat of the moment
Rises beyond the honked horn,
The River Tyne will boil with such a rumble
That crayfish will float among the Nissans.


The water is rising,
It was at my ankles,
I could cope, even at my knees,
I could cope.
Now it's by my neck.
The temperature, not hot,
Not cold, not neither.
It's the grasp. Firm.
The push. Heavy.
I can't cope. Not this high,
Not when I can't breathe,
Not when I can't shout,
I can't call out.

The paralysis starts.
At first it's just numb.
It feels weird to move.
But I can do it.
It increases, debilitates, holds back.
First my head won't lift,
Then my legs curl up.
Then Freeze.
My core feels empty.
My arms wrap around me,
Embraced and unmoved.
I can't move, my will has gone.
My eyes shut, still.

The hatred boils,
At no-one outside,
Directed only inside,
Every word I say, wrong,
Every breath, too loud,
Every tear, pathetic,
Every ounce of pain, deserved.
No happiness owed,
Just hatred to the self.


Where should I stand,
In the corner?
Head bowed
Trying to prove my guilty side,
That it was always right?

Where should I stand?
Behind the pews?
Hands clasped
Asking for forgiveness from a god
That I never believed.

Where should I stand?
In the middle of the ocean?
Chest tight
Breath choked out of my lungs,
like the truth.

Where should I stand?
On a sandy beach?
Toes spread
Celebrating my only victory of
Conquering my own mind.

Where should I stand?
Before your eyes?
Nervous - shaking
Waiting to be judged - scolded,
Applauded - hated - loved.

Where do I stand?