And it Comes in Those Days

March 6, 2008
By Courtney Ulrich, Lakeville, MN

and it comes in those days
those swells between pleasure and regret
that clamp your heart in an iron vice
make you think twice, and yet

you staple a cut-out smile
over your screaming heart and try
to stuff it down, block it out
and there it remains, a prisoner inside

and it comes in those days
where a cup of coffee soothes the frost
creeping through your bones
freezing, cracking, frightening, lost

weeds mistaken for flowers
dried up and crumbling in plastic vases
that line the shelves of a young girl's room
as the tyrant gloats in the purity he replaces

spider webs and a fleece of dust
soiled curtains lie useless on the floor
cardboard boxes stacked in the corner
an abode unwanted -- shut the door

she hugs her arms to her body
swaying with the motion of the bus
just another ride, just another day
with no one to lean on, no one to trust

vacant eyes reflecting hollow souls
cloaked in lives that seem just fine
pre-packaged and sterilized
one after another on the assembly line

and it comes in those days
as you lie exposed on the cold tile floor
saturated with an elixir that promised release
from a strange world that used to be so much more

you open your eyes, see them bent over you
painted faces with expressions of concern
dread becomes a block of concrete in your stomach
accompanied by a buzz and a slow steady burn

and it comes in those days
as you are suffocated by that familiar plodding trudge
wasting energy trying to open that stubborn jar
even though you know it will never budge

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