Mid-life Crisis, Poetry

The Thing

Long Ago:

My friend rents The Thing.
I don’t like horror, but he wants to see it,
and I go along. 

With men, I am trained to go along. 


A friend expresses a strong opinion.
I question it. I question him.
He tells me firmly why he’s right;

there is no space to disagree.

And suddenly my chest feels pressure from A Thing,
A Thing that will no longer stay inside,
Be sweet and cute and patient and kind. 

NO!!!! A Thing yells. 

I grab my coat, say, what time is it? Is it time to go?
I want to go, I say; I think, I want to fly. 

I feel like shouting,
but the raised voice statements are about me.
I feel REDUNDANT!!!!!!!!!
I feel, I feel, I feel—
I hold it back, I blame it on myself. 

A minute later I’m not sure what I said.
I’m back in my head, trying to explain.
Safe in thinking. 

What is this Thing in me straining to get out?
This is no songbird perched on the door of her cage. 

This Thing is voracious, primitive:
This shadow archaeopteryx,
This bellowing dragon. 

I’m not sure I can keep her caged.
I’m not sure I can keep you safe. 

Don’t tell her she doesn’t know the Truth. 

She will not go along.

8 thoughts on “The Thing”

  1. I love this post!
    What came to mind as I reached the end is truth is not safe; neither are open doors. Sing, shout, do what you need to do. The world needs to hear your song.

  2. I KNOW what you are talking about. I know it.
    The mess of it all is that when you say THE THING then you open yourself to attack for being “direct” or “assertive” but tell me, which is worse: to hold it in or to say the truth?
    After all these years, I’d rather be punished for making my truth known.
    Blessings to you for putting into words what I didn’t know how to say.

  3. I’m still learning to let my inner Thing out, because I too am trained to go with men. But I will continue to look forward to the point at which we don’t have to characterize it as a character from a horror film. This isn’t meant as a criticism of your post at all, Songbird — it’s just something I wonder about, even as I think of my own voice that won’t be silenced and the way that I characterize it.

  4. Songbird, you have this gift for articulating that which stays inside of too many of our heads. That’s part of your “fearfully and wonderfully made” Thing. There’s an out-of-print book, phenomenal, called The Monster That Grew Small…it’s almost as much of a must-read as your blog.
    Peace, Sister!

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