The afternoon is silent
The struggle between heart and mind, violent
The smoke curls up to the roof
She is lying on her back, staring at the fan
Unaware when the chain of thoughts in her head began.
Her wrist is slightly twisted, away from herself
The habit of years is still there, unshelved
Consciously, she turns her wrist upward
With a rueful smile, remembers the courage she must muster
For there is a longing in that instant relief
And pain in this uncontained grief
She pulls the cigarette to her mouth, inhales
With each puff, willing the pain to go away
But this humble stick can go only do so much to hold her thoughts at bay
And they come back to her with the force of a strong gale
Ah, for how long must she curtail?
The blade beckons to her, shining
She looks at it, pining
She reaches out, almost touches it
But her oath comes back to her with the force of a holy writ
She withdraws, frustrated – is there no other relief?
Her heart tells her, no, you must bear this grief
She throws away the stub of the cigarette and the smoke dies
She curls away in a corner of her bed, and begins to cry
She thinks of her mother’s lap; and whispers to herself her name
But unlike a child in distress, she has no one to lift her and put her away
So she tries to close her eyes, tries to hold the tears at bay
The memories don’t leave her, nor do the nightmares go away.