Switched off

It’s like a fuse has blown, part of my mind gone dead.

Or is it something in my heart? A bit that’s numb,

Perhaps a ‘myocardial infarct’ (as the medics say)

No blood flow, so the muscle dies?


But heart attacks cause pain!

Blue breathlessness and cold, grey sweat

The agony that clamps across the chest.

While this is more like something I forgot,

A vacuum in an empty space, the feeling gone.


Frozen emotion, that’s it – it’s ice!

And how I dread the thaw…

I do not want to flick the switch back up,

Restore the current, let the feelings flow.

We’re ‘managing’ with half the circuit down,

I’m ‘doing very well’ – amazing grace!

The lights are on but no-one is at home.


I’m ‘out to lunch’ perhaps, or on a trip…

A good trip, bad trip? I don’t know,

I can’t connect with how I’m ‘meant to feel’.

It’s not denial:

Courage is the core of my defence.


Perhaps it’s more like when my mother left:

I simply kept on living, with a hole.

The hole became a scar, the scar a mark

Which formed the lunar landscape of my life

And I accept that this is how it went:

Forty years ago – a short circuit

In my expectations.


I guess it makes it easier somehow,

Acknowledging that this is ‘just the way it is’

Anger and resistance disempowered,

‘Shit happens’ – we are not the only ones.


But where’s the anguish of a mother’s heart?

I think I ought to feel a sharper pain!

Well buried, or just worn down by the years?

The overflow of tears stored up

Long time before this came along;

Sometimes I just feel dry, past caring and resigned.


Hard heart! Perhaps… the outer shell at least.

We all need to survive, you know.

Our coping mechanisms take the starring roles,

The audience is so pleased and proud

When you don’t break down, collapse and spoil the show.


It bothers me.

I can still function, get things done,

Thanks to the Prosac and the prayers.

But am I peaceful – or suppressed?

Or mourning and depressed?

A sadness I can’t fix, a part of me is dead –

The lights are on but no-one is at home.


About Sally Ann

True-story teller - words and pictures
This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Switched off

  1. Mavis Andradez says:

    You’re always in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs.

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