Creative Poetry Print 2020

There’s A Light I Cannot Reach

Written by India Shead
Graphic by Ana Isaacs

This piece was originally published in ‘Pleasure and Danger’, Bossy’s 2020 print edition.

There’s a light I cannot reach.

The pillars fall down,

the tunnel is enclosed

the breath is a valley –

I can hear the concrete scream.

All at once –

the world is a blur

spinning on its axis, again, again, again –

and yet there is no certainty.

The devil comes with three.  

First there came the news one day,

an ordinary Wednesday –

and yet – childhood naivety

relinquished –

no longer –

it is gone –

and with it, the ideal that love can last forever.

I was wrong.

For nature lies –

they tell us that penguins mate for life,

and yet love –

it doesn’t last.

Then there came the drill call,

the papers, the words which fill a page –

which fog my brain

no clarity.

I can’t focus on psychology when my mind

has forfeited the ghost –

when I fear the walls of my love will fall

just as the walls which balanced my childhood

crushed me.

And yet – they were the precursor –  

to the panic attack inducing reality –

that your face will remain behind a screen,

Your hands I will rarely touch –

for what was meant to last until July will continue

until the beach is screaming.

I thought you would return –

yet deep down I knew the truth –

The truth about all of them.

That parents sleeping in different beds

barely speaking

barely seeing –

that work will pile and pile

until it all comes falling down –

that you will see no reason to return

when we can’t stand arm in arm

or kick a soccer ball.

I knew all the truths,

yet I chose to ignore them –

I chose to live

in my webs of desires, of distortions –

false hope –                            optimism –                             blind ignorance –                         denial.

I thought that eternal love would never die,

that rings were cemented in their children –

I thought that ignoring the impending signs,

that putting it off till tomorrow would result

in tomorrow never becoming today –

I thought that you’d come back,

that we would be together again,

that we wouldn’t spend the first year apart –

I thought that I mattered more.

And yet it is foolish to expect you to leave,

to leave security, financial stability –

and yet –

I thought you would.

I thought that you were daring, adventurous, risk-taking –

ready to live free –

I thought you would make sacrifices for me –

unrealistic beliefs –

I fell under the spell of fairy tales

knocked until my breath had ceased –

I believed.

All of it.

I saw ignorance as a past naivety,

I thought I could read people –

and I did.

I just failed to accept that reality strips you to the bone –

beats you –

berates you –

empties you –

leaves you broken, lying naked and crying –

hauled over on the bathroom floor shaking –


For the light is broken.

It moves –

farther and farther away until

you are nothing

It has won.

And yet –

we keep walking,

we keep fighting,

we charge through pillars of concrete and run

bloodied and bruised

until –

Leave a Reply