By Alyssa Storrs
it’s like i woke up from a dream
or so it seems, until the lethargy
i thought would leave follows me everywhere,
like a toddler who can’t play by themselves.
up my spine to my brain
it’s like this fatigue has one question-
“may i dine with you?”
never mind the pain or this new visitor
i want to blame-
he doesn’t listen for the answer.
just pulls up a chair and stares
directly at me.
piercing my worn out gaze,
“i’m here to stay; let’s have lunch.”
i don’t want to eat, just to punch
you in the face.
yet you look at me with grace
and say, “let’s go for a walk.”
i don’t want to talk and i look away.
you show up for every meal though,
and pull up that chair again and again.
i don’t look at you for weeks, but then i peek.
i want to know what you look like.
what is your name?
why would you befriend someone like me?
i gaze into your tender brown eyes and hear,
“i’m here to stay.”
oh-and by the way, my name’s Peyton.
you will find me in your forgotten words,
unfinished laundry and in the difficult
morning lurch to get out of bed.
i’m not just in your head-i promise.
your happy, optimistic personality will start to fade.
and all those papers you start to grade at the beginning of your career
will come to an end.
but i will lend a hand, asking you to
bend to the left and right, seeing landscapes
you’ve never cared to look at before.
but it will scare you.
you will learn to take deep breaths,
and let out millions of screams you’ve kept inside.
each expression of anger will lead you closer
to your truth. your mom’s ancestors to the left
are asking you to reveal their buried secret.
your dad’s to the right want to bask
in freedom and heal.
you are the one they have been waiting for.
i am a lonely companion, taking you to
peer at this shifty shadow.
but i am near and you will grow.
yes, you are stronger than you ever dare know.