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Prose Poetry: "Freedom 21" & "More Like You" by S. Reeson

Freedom 21

She awoke that morning, to discover everything had altered overnight; skies brighter blue,

room calmer space, bedclothes forgiving, dense-weave cotton warmth: binding affluence

within ability. Her family, unexpectedly, were happier, more caring versions of their

previous selves; dark dog days banished to that safe space behind the luxury three-piece

suite upholstered with a lie, deceptively protective plastic sheath.

Breakfast wasn't microwaved, conversation craved finally served steaming, piping hot on

china plates without chips, with excess daily vitamins.

Compelled to understand why all of this was suddenly the norm, she asked a question

into dawn which clearly wasn't heard, their conversations only now apparent as a buzz,

annoying hum almost beyond her auditory range as then it was apparent that this was not

awake: all truth uncovered from subconscious brutally aware of that they lacked, sending

a message back that Wednesday morning, 5am, was absolutely the right time to make a

change, escape their homophobic rhetoric and then, to start again.

Like millions of small town kids, who hid themselves away before today: knowing correct

reality could literally cost lives, one perfect bag is packed, only with cash, pay as you go

approach which needs to last until she's safe inside another's house. Next week, there'll be

no eighteenth birthday bash, that dosh instead in pockets which resent, never represent.

Before anyone's awake, she's lost, within blue hour's warm embrace.

This is why she never told them girlfriend's name, that family now offered as your home,

adults willing to embrace you as their own. Will the bigots care she's gone? Is that note

enough to shame them both into another frame of reference, and if it does, might then

their compass understand it's not true north when evolution prompts reversal of a soul's

magnetic core...

Freedom is this red front door, smooth 21 of polished steel.

That becomes their future, no longer dreamt, but real.

More Like You

She said... if the point for you is fame, success, this is the way; I tried as words

disintegrated, tendrils grew, dense cobwebbed moss across her pristine, velvet space that

should resemble joy but then, instead evolved, new testament of anxious inequality

fashioning Imposter Syndrome as a crutch to beat me with, pummelled remains, righteous

inability, exposing film on Normal People’s thoughts, surely with time and space, girl’s

consciousness will shift, replace what others feel is not enough, as yet you might—still

everything is burnt, frayed fractured noise, uncovered resonance that keeps you not just

sane but functional, as then politely no-one cares, so back we go to teaching someone

sensible, marketing’s Golden Ratio within the point: relationship’s too hard to hold, so she

asks me again, you REALLY want success, as punchline was apparently, idea of that intent

become her instead of me...

politely, I decline.

S Reeson [she/they] is 54 and a multidisciplined artist who has suffered with anxiety since childhood. In 2019 they were identified as a Historic Trauma survivor, and are currently pursuing a neurodivergence diagnosis via the NHS. They are married, have two children, and came out as bisexual during the 2010’s. When not writing, taking pictures or starting conversations online they can be found running, cycling or lifting increasingly heavy weights.

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