Cover Photo: A Sigh of Survival...So Far by Karin Jervert
 

A Sigh of Survival...So Far

A poem for New Years 2021.



Midnight,

And a sigh of survival...so far.

At least, through this,

And then, a sigh of bracing.


Words like ‘together’

Or ‘we’ on the radio in the car,

Feel bitter and at once make me weep.

From hoping I am not alone.

That this whole time

‘We’ have not been alone,

Yet, very much lonely.


Each night this past year,

My routine became more and more perfected:

Teeth, face, pills, heat, locks, lights.

And then try to feel loved.

While I close my eyes,

And hope for the nightmares to stop.


It’s been a long, long year.

A birth from safety to danger;

As all births are.

A birth from trust to discernment,

From freedom to independence.

A sunny nook to a studio splattered with paint and pain,

And a joy of knowing something so foreign to me,

I did not think God had created it.

Or, perhaps, I thought God had not intended it for me.

So, it atrophied.

As if 100s of 1000s of years in space,

Rendered it not even a memory.

Something less real to me.


That I was worthy.


This year, fear was like medicine.

The only kind I’ve known.

The cruel kind.

The kind that kills.

And I took the tincture daily.

But, only some days did I know it,

Only some days did I see its effects.


There were days I feared for every living thing.

Wondering if the end had come to pass.

And I had to continue on,

Knowing what would never be,

And what was still to come.


And, that I was worthy.




Karin Jervert is an artist and author.  She identifies as a psychiatric survivor and is currently working on a memoir titled, "All Signs Point to Something Wonderful", a collection of short stories about her journey into, and out of, the world of psychiatric labels and trauma. Her work can also be found on madinamerica.com and litro.co.uk. Visit something-wonderful.net for more information.