Cuffed and broken I lay
shackled in the darkened room,
Chained by responsibilities and guilted duties.
There’s not a key only a skeletal freedom.
The warden whispers promises he doesn’t intend to keep.
Time passes like a stranger
with indistinguishable features.
I recognize her not.
The inescapable tick serves as a painful reminder
that I’m limited and bound.
Every shackle is a burden,
every chain is a load,
every planned escape is thwarted
by the watchful warden’s eyes.
The problem with sleep is the awake.
I stepped into normal
with joe in my hand,
dressed in my muted palette
with my curls contortedly smoothed and bound.
I’m desked in a cube
with a screen as my focus.
A nod. A smile. A robot.
Driving is the catalyst
between the duality.
I unlock my door,
step into my pajamas,
and back into me.
Vanessa K. Eccles is the founder and executive editor of Belle
Reve Literary Journal. She has an English degree from Troy University,
and her work has been published by Deep South Magazine, Suite T (a blog
by Southern Writer’s Magazine), Wisdom Crieth Without, and The Story
Shack. She is the author of Psalms of Me and is currently working on a
YA novel. For more information see her website www.vanessakeccles.com. <firstname.lastname@example.org>