Lisa Alletson, Glass Words

This post comes with a trigger warning

Which Clock

Clocks stopped
when he, half-naked
stopped me

Get in my car
I resisted, Stop
His anger, tick tock

I ran
he followed
I know where you live, girl

Time fell
chunks of life

I count aloud
minutes till I’m safe
days spent head down
to the end.


silent and pretty as our hats
we were called
from the tennis court

to recite Frost
make the hamster do tricks,
we lived in a country

where a man would place
a tire and petrol
on another man

set him on fire
the danger the danger

to the tune of
another G and T please darling
and the maids polished the silverware

My Death Poem

My brain, this wet almond, is losing torsional strength. It faints from even the gentlest twist. For-gets its own prayers. Someone says “try harder” and “get over it” but it hides from the violence of the words.

Sometimes it’s half-crazy like a running chicken ripped apart unready and… I just want to sleep now in our “Yes, let’s!” suburbs.

My guardians titter from the kitchen. Witless as sticks, thinking I don’t notice I have become part of my bed, filled myself with its stuffing as it has with mine. They make soup to sedate my demons, to sift cries of sanity from my godlessness. Fill it with lawful things like rings which choke me in the end.

I see blue sky and they tell me it’s time to separate my foot from the ground with a step to go somewhere. Apples for the children? I can’t move it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not sad, not down. Someone darts me with words, “major depressive” as I wait, but I don’t remember whether I care, or how to move my foot.

So they carry me back inside. And when I fall again to the edge of animal as a fevered cow in childbirth, they scream, startled by their own stupidity. I am destined to die for a life I don’t want. That is what they don’t see.

When they are gone I write my glass words, swallow their shards, my death poem.

Lisa Alletson writes to find peace. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have been published in The Globe and Mail, The Write Launch, Ginosko Literary Journal, 50-word Stories, and the VSS Anthology. She grew up in South Africa and the UK, and now lives in Canada. Her Twitter handle is @LisaAlletson. You can listen to Lisa read My Death Poem here.


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