A wave of heartache and depression inspired this poem by Cristina Haraba. Illustration by Daria Skrybchenko
There will be days when you want to sink into the earth
like rain beads, quickly, quietly, unwitnessed.
Become something good at last, nourishment for trees
or underground creatures, friendlier than the ones in your head.
Days when you wish the sun fell from the sky and shattered,
when any noise except for the grumbling vacuum
in your stomach makes you want to curl into a small animal
under a hard shell — a tortoise, an armadillo, a mollusc.
There will be days when nothing is enough, not even
the soft feathers of a duck or the taste of sour cherry cake
melting into coffee in your mouth, or the perfect way
sunlight frames the hair of a stranger on a bench.
Call me, tell me your sorrow, and I’ll tell you mine.
Then pull back the curtains to the other days, the days
that have always been there, so brilliant they could blind you,
lying ahead of you like a fresh carpet of snow.
The days when you stand on a street full of people and recognise
every single one of them, just like you recognise the breeze
on your forehead, the coo of the wood pigeon, the scent of the lilac
calling on you, wild and exciting, to take your place in the order of things.
Small Animals is from The Hope Issue – Issue 16. Order your copy here
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