Words Alive! Writing Contest Winner: Caitlin Waits (Poetry)

“The Darkness”

By Coalcliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31329259

The darkness is creeping in again

I can see it in the corners of my mind

It creeps ever so slowly

As to not be noticed

But I know it’s there

It’s always there


Can you see it, when you look at me?

Do you even see me?

You might be able to see the darkness

It comes out in black t-shirts

Swallowed by a hoodie

Or my father’s sweatshirt


You can tell when I’m fighting, too

My armor is a blouse or dress, hair down, makeup on

But when you ask –

– Why are you dressed up today?

I feel foolish and joke –

– Just because I felt like it


But today, my nice clothes are pooled in my laundry room

I haven’t fought back in so long


I’m afraid the darkness will become the blackness

Swallowing me whole, creating a shell

You won’t see the blackness

No one does

Because the blackness has a Trojan horse

A smile, a friendly hello


The blackness makes me think terrible things

That I’m unwanted, a nuisance

It makes me lie in bed all day

It makes me forget to shower

I never go out when the blackness comes

I stay home, asleep, trying to escape


People say I should be on medicine

But the medicine angers the darkness

Causing the blackness to take charge

And the medicine makes it impossible to fight

It keeps me in a fog

Blind to the darkness, the blackness

And isolated from reality.

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