To call him a snake would not be fair
because he’s nowhere near being cunning or particularly bright
but he is poisonous,
poisoning with venom that works slowly through the blood stream
draining the body of vibrancy and energy, until life falls away
sharing in his sickness –
what a sick man-child he was with an essence of the devil.
How he even got close enough to bite was a mystery,
symptoms were there from the start but probably unwisely ignored
until he’d sunk his fangs in deep
viciously clamped on, way past a time scale safe or sensible
but he knew how to hang on and abuse
flickering out his tongue when required.
He wasn’t even saucy,
not like sauce covering pizzas at the hut slithered into for work,
he left a dry feeling on the lips and sour taste at the back of the throat,
a disgusting specimen that should have been avoided at all costs,
never let anywhere close.
In womanhood she saw how she loved being in control
although it should have been clearly in her sightline from girlhood –
Barbies could be dressed and named, have their hair cut by her small hands
Teddy bears arranged neatly on her bed
But riding a bike; that was unpredictable
factors outside of her control.
She loved being at one with the four-wheeler
riding up and down her road when sun would shine down,
then when dad removed the first of those training wheels
fear took over her body and brain.
she tilted to one side, immediately aware that crashing to ground was a high probability;
she didn’t want to graze her knee or bang her head
even with a helmet on.
Pain would come on her own terms, not her bike’s, so she put the bike away,
just like the scooter and Barbie roller-skates that could also send her falling.
Being in control of her body was always more important than having fun like a child should,
able to free themselves in their inhibitions so they can learn to ride a bike or skate with friends.
Talking to people like they’re people has morphed into a foreign concept for some.
Believing words need to be contorted from lips when bestowed
on those in a contrary situation to yours.
May as well inscribe the headline,
“No roof overhead strips you of humanity”
A story filled with anecdotes of invisibility, disconnect and interactive inability.
Don’t hide behind being insensitive,
Anyone with awareness and care will know not to put a foot in a muddy puddle and splash it in another’s face.
Fear of insensitivity, an excuse used to escape interaction
outside of moments that interaction’s door is not closed altogether,
shutting them out, when what is desired is to be let in to a sense of normality –
What is needed to be fed into every headline, so it ceases to be news reported.
No longer alien territory,
speaking to people in adverse conditions, like they are people, becomes home in your mouth,
Reacting to them as you would anyone else.
Reviving their feeling of humanity that had been lost in statistics
they had no hand in constructing.