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Poetry Pleases: Fear

Carole is a student at a school for people with learning difficulties. Her poem reflects her feelings when faced with the demands of a bureaucratic regime.

Fear! What is fear?
To me it is someone handing me a form
and saying, "Fill this in".

It's hard to put into words just what happens to me
Every part of my body stiffens
I go hot all over
I feel like I can't speak
and there is a little man in my head
bashing my brains with a hammer.
I have to fight hard to keep my senses.

I usually manage to make some silly excuse,
I have got two.
One of them goes
"I will have to ask my husband if it is all right."
As if I am some sort of Victorian Miss
who is unable to think for herself.
The other one is "I don't understand forms."
That's worse because
straight away they think I'm daft.

If only people could understand
just because a person can't spell
they are not stupid.

Most of the time it is fear of doing it
rather than not being able to do it.

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