The Reach Of The Dead: A Poem

I saw our bodies as one, two in one,

One’s trauma belonging to the other,

One’s fate stitched to the other’s flesh,

Inside out, the repetition taught, the

Circus artistry within a family, the tricks

Of reality, the enhancement of misery, the

Hardening seal, blood-red, infuriating.


I revolted. You did too. When you were young

And daring. You travelled. The shadows caught

You, they claimed your body back, the vessel to

Refill with their muscle memory, their bilious narratives,

The acts of sabotage, denigration, infamy, ejected and

Injected, against your will, celebrating your assumed

Powerlessness. You were a rebel but they brought you

On your knees. You were the most moving dreamer I

Ever met. That’s when we danced in unison.


We bled. We were never meant to be antagonists.

Swimming against the stream. We stretched out

Our arms to each other, gained space and found

Our way back to one another, in a healthy way, in

A leap forward, through it, all, hand in hand, heroines,

Energised with life to shed old skins, burned, desecrated

Stamps and labels that others tried to brand us with.


They never thought that we would make it.

Shatter the mould of our forefathers and mothers.

The toxic pest weeds that continued to grow through

Us, on our bodies, around our tongues, down our throats,

Until the air is no more. We said our goodbyes and took

Our learned lessons and planted our own seeds. We grew

In different directions, as freely and unravelled as we desired.

antique blur classic close up
Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on


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