slips in oh so sneaky,
appearing out of nowhere, weaving
its agitated fingers through her hair,
crawling up slowly from the nape of her neck
to the top of her head,
before plunging to her chest,
where it lodges, pressing
ribs to lungs.
Not you again, she mumbles.
Will this ever end?
Again, it’s here for no reason.
No abusive memories of the past churning
through her mind. No one said anything recently
to trigger her. Nothing happened to increase
her blood pressure
this demon-child of trauma descended, dragging
her fractured past
behind it, intent on pounding
her heart to a pulp and shattering
But not today.
Things have changed.
Today she chooses to focus on the future,
to leave the past behind, refusing
to play anxiety’s terrorizing game.
Today admittance to her soul is denied.
Time to go, she warns.
This shop is closed.
Laura Stamps is the author of several chapbooks and books, including IN THE GARDEN, CAT DAZE, TUNING OUT, THE YEAR OF THE CAT, and more. Winner of the Muses Prize. Recipient of 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. Shortlisted in the Loft Books Poetry Competition. Her poems have appeared in The Penwood Review, Sledgehammer Lit, Boston Poetry Magazine, Amethyst Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Crush Literary, among others. You can find her every day on Twitter at @LauraStamps16