Person in Pipe

A child with a gloomy disposition
Said to me with some contrition,
“I find the sunlight much too bright,
It tells me problems can be simply set right.
Though I’ve prayed for a many a day,
Not one deity, have I swayed.”

When company came, she hid in dark places
As if time could pass faster in stasis
And hurts would merely fester instead of ache
Thirst seem manageable though never slaked.

She said to me when I cooed,
“Do not think me for a fool
Or you some handyman to mend a tool.
I’ve got such horrid wounds to show
And I’d rather not let you in the know.
Lest you tell me they were my fault
And all my words be for naught.”

So I sat with her in that black-filled room
Let her feel my wrists in high noon
Let her trace where my scars also ran
And then she cried and with a stand
Bolted as if she could not understand.

“How can you smile knowing the world so bleak?
And still falsely grin when you seek
Me, to me, you would lie about happiness
And follow me at your own behest?”

“Child, my child,” I stroked her hair.
“Do not let burdens rob you of care.
Live a little braver, if you dare
And you’ll find survivors everywhere.”

My child with that gloomy disposition
Did not much change her stubborn position.
But she began to linger for moments at a window or two
And stare with longing at the sky, yes, so blue.


Author: redgladiola

Creative writer happily predisposed to flights of fancy. You can find my poetry and short prose at https://redgladiola.wordpress.com

30 thoughts on “Outside”

  1. Thanks for commenting on Thunderstruck on my blog so that I could find you here!

    This is a moving poem. How it reflects those absolutes of children, of young souls: It’s day or night. It’s here or there. And anything in between, I don’t understand so explain it to me. My daughter was one of those…! Still questions life’s vagaries to this day, which is probably why she is an artist.

    One line hit me right in my solar plexus:
    “As if time could pass faster in stasis”
    Not just the internal rhyme, but the rhythm. For one line like that, I’d give… a cookie!

    Peace to you, T. Amy

    1. Thank you! I think as adults we still struggle with grays because there’s a sort of injustice to not having things simple the way we are taught as children.

      And thank you so much for saying you liked that line. Some of its cleverness was unintentional, I think, but you’ve let me see its merits.

  2. a story in verse. My absolute favorite. It’s like I “get” something out of the poem…I don’t just appreciate a well-turned phrase. There are many, here. The penultimate paragraph is kickin’…for me. That’s el kicker….I like your complex rhymes. Well done.

  3. Absolutely love this. This really speaks to my experience with depression. The black and white; the retreat; the scars; the dark. You have written this so beautifully and tenderly. Thank you.
    And yes- you will find survivors everywhere.

  4. This is a delightful piece, despite the darkish themes within. I love rhyming verse and you have a real gift for it.

    1. Thank you! I very much appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I think most people and circumstances are a mix of dark and light, like life.

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