Poetry: "Isolation" by Christine Bode


A poem by ©Christine Bode 2022

Lying in bed late at night, I try not to let my thoughts
Get as dark as a black hole in space
Swirling down, down the cosmic funnel
Of infinity, never to land in a sun-drenched meadow
In June 1987, where I awake among the wildflowers
A warm breeze blowing through my hair
And start all over again as a beautiful, confident
Hourglass-shaped, size 14 blonde girl
With a dream to produce rock music videos

Sometimes being alone with my thoughts
is like being trapped in a float tank
in the middle of a panic attack
screaming inside my head for someone to
lift the lid and let me out
But no one comes, and though
I claw at the roof until my fingernails bleed
I cannot get out of the prison
Of my thoughts and circumstances

CBT teaches us that we can change our thoughts
And as a result, we can change our emotions
So I tell myself I won’t think about how I feel
A hungry, caged tiger in forced isolation,
Deprived of freedom, love, movement
And endless possibilities, ready to rip the
Throat out of whoever opens the door
With my fangs and
Just keep running

No, I will think of Bukowski
Sitting at his Olympia, drunk on wine,
Smoking, his face an ugly minefield of acne,
Typing out his daily thoughts about
The mundanity and absurdity of his crazy life,
Droll, sometimes witty, often content with being insane,
While his cat rubs up against his legs, thinking,
“Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

No, I will think about how much worse
My life would have been if I had been born
A woman in the 16th century
Treated like chattel, forced by my father
To marry who he chose, even if I didn’t know him
Not allowed to learn, read or speak my mind
And how the odds of my dying in childbirth or
From tuberculosis would be at least five to one
And if I rebelled, I could be burnt at the stake

Suddenly, I feel calmer about my pretty cage,
Succumb to the Zopiclone sandman,
Turn off the light and try to get comfortable
Lying on my left side, my arm under my pillow,
Right arm cradling another and let
My clenched jaw loosen as I eventually
Drift off to sleep
Hoping I’ll find the sun-drenched meadow in June 1987
And that Dusty will be waiting for me


Read more poetry by Christine Bode in Eden Refugee and Eden Redefined.

Eden Redefined is available on:

Amazon (Paperback) CDN $9.99: https://amzn.to/3T6vbZf

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Eden Refugee is available on:

Amazon (Paperback) CDN $11.99: https://amzn.to/3FEAXhg

Amazon (Kindle) CDN $3.99: https://amzn.to/3TQDd9x

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