If This Be the Path I Must Follow

a poem by
SHIRLEY JONES-LUKE | Teacher + Poet


 Photo by Piron Guillaume

I’M a wayward woman
drunk on self-doubt
a straight line doesn’t exist for me.

I am queen of apathy in an acrid desert. Hear my desperate roar.

Particles burn my eyes. I cough up conflict.

A mountain of mess. An avalanche of issues.
I continue, climbing jagged peaks, waiting to
impale me with their problems, the scratches have done
enough damage already

Home is not a haven. Sickness is the air my family breathes. A pile of bills like the aftermath of a snowstorm. Time to shovel out from under. But I can’t deal with this right now. Depression has me at the deep end of the pool.

Bill collectors can’t call after 9 p.m. anyway.

I watch the clock.

This can’t be my son’s life. I want better for him.

Night covers day. The city settles in. My body aches.
Pain travels on the road of my skin.

How long must I endure it?
Darkness hides my tears.