Loneliness, et al


I deal myself a new game of solitaire–
My wrist aches
I limply release the cards into the air, lost in my seclusion.
I sit stiffly.
The broken telephone catches my eye
I focus on the buttons until my eyes are about to crack like my joints do when I shift.
Somebody knocks at the door and a bolt of lightning jolts through me,
My humble hobble quickens,
I get to the door as fast as my body wills me to,
Faster than I expected, I’m there;
Eyes wide open, an expectant smile playing at my chapped lips,
My frail body suddenly becomes youthful.
The sight of another person transports me to a busy street far away from my isolation,
Instead of everyone ignoring me they smile and welcome me
Ask me to lunch and for my number.
“My telephone is broken” I respond.
Why do I push away these friendly foreigners?
They are aliens to me
My social skills have faded
Do I even speak English anymore?
My pounding heart yanks me back to reality,
The man at the door is not a friend but a delivery man instead.
My mouth is sour from disappointment as joy rapidly escapes my soul.
I sit back in my chair, elbows, knees, and hips all aching from dissatisfaction .
I have no energy to stand back up to get my medication.

I order pizza so I can see a human face at my door,
I sit in my rocking chair so I feel surrounded by warmth,
I broke my telephone so I don’t have to deal with knowing that a fixed one would still stay silent all night.
I play solitaire even though my fingers hurt because I am awakened by the pain.
I’m trapped in my mind where nothing stands up straight,
Reality is a dream and my dreams are nightmares, where nothing is real and everything is angst–
Despair swallows me up, hope is absent
I have no grasp of actuality
My mind is unfortunately my only home,
And even there, do I feel alone.

Ode to New York City

I squint, head throbbing from the cold.
My sore lips split,
Sun peeks and hides behind tall office buildings.
Ice drips onto my forehead, trickles to my mouth.
Wind sweeps my ashen hair off my back–
Sending a rush up my neck and a chill down my spine,
My scream gets caught in my throat as a rat scampers by my boot.
A cluster of people are gathered together at the corner,
Backs arched, examining the skyline.
A woman hurries underground, frantic to get back to her confined apartment,
A man yells on his phone, ordering an assistant to copy the paperwork,
A child wanders, exploring the unknown,
The tourists stare, too squished on the sidewalk to take a step.
The smell of street vendors selling peanuts wafts up my nostrils–
Roasted or toasted, tempting all the same.
Smoke fills my nose with displeasure as the person in front of me swings his cigarette.
The crowded city of big dreams is where mine are already coming true,
I shiver and imagine working in one of those tall windows making up the skyline.
A train rushes forward and the rumble makes my toes vibrate.
Excitement charges through me and I pump my arms, running down the stairs,
The underground swallows me up as I hop on my train.
Breath released
Door closes
Dinner awaits.

Breaking Waves

A gush flows into my eyes
Burning and fresh. I break through the surface
Salty and novel,
Sputtering and stupefied.
I raise my head to the shore
Stripped ground, bare and ransacked;
And yet I can’t imagine anything more flawless.
More scenic, handsome, and picturesque
The landscape of your body–
The vision of my dreams.
Your love is my fantasy.
My reality alternates with my delusion.
For an instant, stands still–
And before I blink it starts to stir.
Away it wanders,
Moving quickly, it flows.
Not a dream but a nightmare
As distorted as they come.
My stomach churns.
My heart vomits,
Spewing out everything it once took in
And my passion twirls away as dusk settles in.
I find myself shivering in this water–
I see the once fertile land for what it really is
Remote, full of lost opportunities.
I let the waves pull me in.
I am left barren, broken.

My Father, My Burden

Leaning left
Leaning right
His weight resting on me;
I squint at the muss of greasy brownness too close to my face.
Dandruff coats his scalp like leaves on the ground;
My throat begins to heave,
Sweat beads at the edge of my widow’s peak.
I shrug the seemingly hollow brain off my shoulder harshly, only to come face to face with those eyes
Green with a glint, eager to be provoked, energized to start a fight.
My shoes are spattered with reeking vomit
And drool seeps down my arm as we struggle down the street.

He shies from the streetlights – the glow too luminescent.
A single car rushes by and instant jealousy rushes through me–
To be away from here, to shake this weight off my shoulder for good.
I cough loudly trying to awaken the sleeping beast.

A lice den in the form of an abandoned couch invites me to place my father down and leave him.
The muddy arms tempt me;
I drop him, heavy body thudding on the homeless sofa.
Tomorrow night I imagine I’ll be doing the same thing,
After all, it’s what I did yesterday.

Cheryl Gordon
Age 15, Grade 10,
Packer Collegiate Institute
Silver Key

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