Survival Guide

I don’t write poetry simply because it never comes out right. I had a meltdown yesterday over something that could have been laughed at. The stress from a toxic work environment just sent me over the edge. All the after-school plans changed because the kids couldn’t make up their mind so I was scrambling. When I got home to cook a dinner that I originally had no intention of doing was the straw of the camel’s back. I turned on the wrong burner and melted a bag of rice to the burner. I picked it up and rice went everywhere. Normally, that is something I would laugh at but I just couldn’t. I cried and had the breakdown that I needed. This is what anxiety and depression looked like in my house yesterday. This is what a day’s worth of anxiety build brings when in a toxic environment. With everything still on my mind the best I could do was to get it out like this:


She has hearing like a bat,
heard every word.
Skills honed to
better hear the car door.

She can feel the tension,
its felt when walking in the room.
Her body is conditioned
to prepare for assaults.

She worries about your thoughts,
she can tell by the look on faces.
Her mind does this
in preparation for anything to come.

She’s alert to her surroundings,
without looking she knows who’s walking in the room.
Always alert because she
always had to be on guard.

She’s silent without a second thought,
already knows you don’t want to hear her.
Silence ensures lack
of violent encounters.

To you, she seems cold,
refusing to be fake.
To her, it’s about survival and her guide,
years of abusive trial and error.

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