Today was my first day of work at the Women’s Support Network, where Nicole and I wrote an article about our trip for the E-News and then perused their library. The following is a poem from the book “Come rain, hail, shine or snow” written by the Women’s Community Writing Group 2011-2012. It was published by the Prison Arts Foundation, which used community development funding to provide a weekly creative writing group for women in Northern Ireland on probation orders (the imprisonment of women in Northern Ireland is a big issue that the WSN focuses on). The classes were taught with the support from the Women’s Support Network, which is where I work on Mondays in City Centre.
A Lifetime and Two Birthdays Later
Walking through the doors
with a hanky drying my face
thinking the old me was gone forever
Hiding behind my human shield:
if I closed my eyes I couldn’t see,
so they couldn’t see me.
A question being asked.
The answer in my head;
lips clamped shut
The fear of body contact making me sweat
One minute fine, the next kicking cupboards
We went to the doctors together;
heard for the first time
“I’m broken, fix me”
Assessed. appointments, appointments, appointments,
doing everything asked,
up and down,
hot and cold
in and out
Until up and down became somewhere in between
Come to class rain, hail, shine or snow;
words to fix my head.
Being reflective, getting perspective;
instead of lifting a knife, lifting a laptop.
Hand on hand contact, offering one when the other was
My once clamped lips rambling across the room like a
volume maxed up
A lifetime and two birthdays later;
sitting exams, getting results, hanging certificates,
stepping into the old shoes I thought were lost, buried
deep beneath me,
Given a spade and helping hands I can stand up;
tell others my story