Pandemic Poem #28

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Pandemic poem #28 came on a day when I found myself sitting and not-looking, not-staring, not-seeing, just sitting, with my face turned in the direction of the window, for hours, struggling to feel anything but totally alone, even when my family was in the next room, my cat was right there, I had just had a delightful Zoom conversation with a friend. It was unsettling, and I couldn’t help but imagine that this is how depression works, how it tricks you and robs you of your vivacity, leaving only that sense that you are just there-not-there. This poem is for everyone living with depression, both those who have done so for a long time and those who are finding themselves coping with it for the first time in the face of the global crisis we are all dealing with together: you are not alone. This feeling is a lie, and it will pass.

(Reading tip: if you are reading this on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)

 

“Through the Window”

I’ve been tired before
exhausted, worn thin, vulnerably weary
but never so tired I couldn’t sleep,
eat, drink, cry, do anything
besides sit, looking-not-looking
through the window, at a world
I am in-and-not-in.

 

(Originally written 4/17/2020)

 

I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !

About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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