August 22, 2016

Good Morning, Anxiety. {Poem}

elizabeth lies/Unsplash

Good Morning, Anxiety

My sheets greet me every morning
by making no sound when I grip them
like I forgot I was sleeping
and thought instead I was barely hanging on.

I always wake up
despite my every cell begging desperately not to.
I wake up thinking,
“how do people do this?”
as if I never stopped
as if my head won’t turn off.

I guess that’s what dreams are.
I wouldn’t know,
my dreams go for the throat.
My rest doesn’t do much resting
and my sheets don’t complain when I wet them
with my sweat
or my tears
or my screams.

My sheets don’t leave me
unless I make them
unless I tear them off
and throw them down the stairs
and leave them there
until I have the strength to face them.
They know I am low on strength.
They know this,
because they hold me at night.
They know well how to be patient,
how to sleep on a cold basement floor
until I am ready
to change them.
Until I am ready to change myself.

This is what “sleep tight” means to me.

My mother used to make my bed
with the top sheet tucked in at the foot,
but I would still have them in a ball on the floor by the morning.
This is what I’ve always been good at.

If you try to hold me
I will wake you up every morning
by gripping your arm for dear life.
If you try to love me
you will end up in a ball on the floor.

I would like to say I am sorry
to my sheets
for thinking you are a cliff
when you really are cloud.
I would like to say I am sorry
to my head
I would give you all the rest if I could.
I’d give you peace.
I would hold
I would stretch and smile in the mornings
and think of all the ways the day could go right
instead of all the ways it won’t.


Author: Tess Drudy

Image: elizabeth lies/Unsplash

Editor: Emily Bartran

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