I went into the woods with a mental illness.
I soaked up the trees as snow dropped from their non-existent leaves.
We murmured alongside each other tenderly.
On the forward-facing coat I could see that I was all on my own.
Demetra is nude in the wintercold.
Her parents did not brace her for peaceful times.
Happiness lies out of her comfort zone.
Familiar with screams that last through the frozen night.
Demetra’s companion immaterial, yet omnipotent.
A feeling of boredom, meaninglessness, no right of existence.
She wears them like a furry coat.
They scratch her skin that nobody can see, fiery red the surface of her senses.
Demetra can’t feel the cold anymore, but warm she is not.
The winds howl and hunt her down the path.
Their intentions still unclear.
The brightness of the white trees a blanket or the satin lid of a coffin.
Demetra feels so old in her shredded skin.
The life ahead of her a threat.
Her hands are red; the bestial coat is stuck on her own fibres, it won’t come off easily.
It has a head with an open mouth.
Demetra cannot run, it won’t fall off, she needs to wrestle and caress.
As she looks upon the blood and skin captured by her nails her attitude alters.
It takes all her courage to face the beast and thus she stops and falls.
Demetra rolls around in the crunching snow embracing what is hers.
Unlearning what she was taught. Approaching the impossible.
Loving what’s supposedly unworthy of love, turning the tide.
They are one and the same, the coat and Demetra.
Melting into one another singing a tune of mutual compassion and companionship.
“Louise Cahen Danvers” by Carolus Duran (1837-1917)