backlit blur close up dawn
Photo by Pixabay on

Push Back

It is beyond vile, what just happened.  In an empty site, ugly ground, foulest words.  It’s pushing at my back and I am trying not to vomit.  Bile burns my throat and disgustingly I swallow.  Somehow the dog holds me up.  I must not let go of the little dog or it will run off and get lost.  A car will hit it.  Walk and hold.  I don’t know the way.  Nothing looks familiar.  There is no familiar here.  The little dog – does it know the way?  How can there be this much pain in my chest without a heart attack?  If I fall, the dog won’t stay. It will run.  I know it.  It’s hard to breathe. Step, one step, one more – stay up, keep moving and clench on to the leash, hold on to the little dog. It’s behind me.  It did not happen.  I did not hear it.  I did not see it.  Push it back.  Keep going, it doesn’t matter where.

I’m on the last flight.  I’ve closed my eyes because I have not slept much in the last day or night, or whatever time has passed.  The noise of the cabin crew as their feet clomp on the isle is reassuring.  It keeps me present.  Mum and Dad, I can’t talk to you now.  I have to hold it together.  I’m on a plane.  The noises remind me.  Don’t think about them now.  Later when I finally get home, I can think about you.  I can be under the quilt and in the dark, I can think about you then.  I am shamed.  I think you saw and you know and I am shamed.  I have to listen to the crew sounds. I must keep it together.  Do push back, you know how to do push back.

It’s deep night.  I’m startled but there is no noise.  The panic in my chest makes it hard to suck in air.  I have to make a big noise to get it out which helps get some back in.  It’s sore but it’s the type I’m used to.  That means it will pass.  The empty lot comes back in my mind. I see the tuft of grass somehow sprouting from dry, cracked clay.  Ugly comes back. Push back, don’t think.  I can see white daisies in a glass jar.  Sprigs of rosemary in white china cups – all the way down a long table.  What next? I can talk to Mum now – it’s dark and no-one can see.

silhouette of city skyline during sunset
Photo by Anfisa Eremina on


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