Inside the grey balloon
on its slippery floor
Empty in here
save the very air, and
it’s not even helium
exhalations of CO2
Crushing my lungs
Hard to breath
I view life though
this opaque barrier
My hands press
against one side
Gerbil in a wheel
reeling around the room
above the carpet
below the moon
Without a pin to pierce
these pale graphite walls.
So I will sit here
wait for the
half/air to seep out
Then I’ll wriggle
through the knot
to rejoin the living
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Poets United’s Wonder Wednesday, the prompt was simply, “grey.” Depression is my grey, and yet, coming out of it is simply another shade. There are no blacks and whites (save ink and sheets of paper). A grey world is what you make of it. And then there is the burgeoning silver in my hair, AKA “God’s free highlights.” Peace, Amy
Sherry Blue Sky
November 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm
This is a wonderful description of depression. Hey, I LOVE you calling gray hair “God’s free highlights”. YES! That is what I have been considering my hair color, without knowing the words to put to it!
Sharp Little Pencil
November 26, 2012 at 12:04 am
Glad to pass it on, my friend!
November 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm
Amy, this is just so good. You take the unimaginable and make it understandable. I admire your skill and open heart.
I’ve got two for you:
November 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm
opaque barrier – perfect description of teh darkness into some of us.
beautiful execution, amy
November 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm
I hear you with regard to depression…and yes, the greys……they just are.
November 14, 2012 at 8:20 pm
You’ve captured the compression of depression very well… I like how you said depression is your grey yet coming out is just another shade… that’s a very profound statement. I also love “God’s free highlights.” You’re very clever.
November 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm
yikes….feels rather consticting…and to wait til the air nearly gone to escape through the knot…ugh….what a great picture of something not fun at all…felt…
November 15, 2012 at 12:13 am
As I grew old slowly my hair decided not to until one day in the barbers I noticed gray hair on the floor after the trim and it was mine! That knot in the deflated balloon is so descriptive of the struggle to escape the person you don’t want to be.
November 15, 2012 at 12:41 am
How difficult it was to come to terms with ourselves when down. One gets that feeling every so often and it was not a good feeling. God’s free highlights, LOL!
November 15, 2012 at 12:58 am
Your poem is heartbreaking, even though I knew about it in principle. It is beautifully written. I hope you are out of the grey balloon just now, and stay out.
For the second time today, I have been asked to login to “like” and when I do, the window disappears without the ‘like’ coming up. WordPress at it again? It will be interesting to see if this comment registers.
Sharp Little Pencil
November 26, 2012 at 1:36 am
The LIKE and the comment registered… only I’m just now catchng up. Most folks aren’t even getting a reply. Been in the ‘grey balloon’ and it’s getting harder… love, Amy
November 15, 2012 at 1:17 am
I like this poem, but not that you feel this way at times. You are an amazing woman Amy . ..no wonder God gave you free highlights! 😀
November 15, 2012 at 3:18 am
This is encouraging. We can all get back up when we fall down……
I am a brain tumor survivor who suffered from clinical depression for years.
November 15, 2012 at 4:45 am
You keep on “keeping on”, as they used to say, and I admire you a lot for that.
November 15, 2012 at 9:11 am
Wow, Amy….I knew you would nail this one! And you did…
I hope the grey balloon has lifted and you are seeing the bright light of the day!
I do think those that are truly talented have this grey balloon in their world!
I know you respect yours, so wise
I so hope you dance in the light
I love your poem!
It is brilliant 😀
Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife
November 15, 2012 at 11:01 am
Your poems are always full of wonderful images.
Watch your tail in that wheel; it’ll catch you by surprise 🙂
November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm
Amy.. It is such an adorable poem.. I wonder if anyone could put it better than this.. but I think no one can… This is just amazing.
November 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm
love this poem. One of the finest uses of the word “wriggle” I’ve read: a much underused and brilliant word… wriggle… got me thinking there. Thank you, muchly.
November 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm
Amy, love that ending of wriggling through the knot, such vivid images! Also love God’s highlights–made me laugh–love that. 🙂
Victoria C. Slotto
November 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm
Powerful metaphoric poem, Amy. Yes, depression is gray and that feeling of half-suffocation describes it well.
November 16, 2012 at 1:09 am
Really great poem, life can be like a gerbil in a wheel, getting nowhere with a lot of effort. Well done.
November 17, 2012 at 11:20 am
Powerful stuff, Amy. I like the free highlights comment 🙂
November 17, 2012 at 11:20 am
Well done Amy. Such a descriptive poem. I could feel that stale air.
November 19, 2012 at 3:57 am
Beautiful and sensative, amy.
November 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm
“then I’ll wriggle through the knot”…just a really excellent poem from beginning to end.
November 20, 2012 at 4:28 am
My partner was diagnosed as manic depressive. She would be like a tornado bouncing though life on those highs and loved them but, when she went into a downward spiral, it was so hard to climb back out… what a roller coaster ride it all was…I get this ‘grey’ of yours Amy. Keep on keeping on, distinguished grey hairs and all 😉
November 20, 2012 at 8:22 am
Love the image of the gerbil…
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Amy!
November 20, 2012 at 9:58 am
I, too, let my natural grey come in. The other day one of my friends said she liked how I was coloring my hair! Thanks for the glimmer of hope at the end when you say you’ll wriggle out.
November 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Disconnection is always a problem for me when I am feeling that way. I feel out of touch and out of control. Interior voices do more damage than good…what a mess. You have described it perfectly. Loved it.
November 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Oh, my. This captures that grey trapped feeling that comes with depression so well. Love the ending.
November 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm
Very telling description of that tight suffocating place. Hope your narrator breathes fresh air soon. Great poem!
November 21, 2012 at 7:38 am
Amy you’ve expressed what it is to be inside…separate, watching, longing to be out so perfectly.
If you have time tomorrow or perhaps Sunday or Monday, please stop by to visit the gratitude quilt and add words of gratitude of your own in the comment box below… it will be posted early Thursday morning, November 22nd. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2012 at 9:42 am
WOW WOW WOW
I’m sorry if there is actually a gerbil involved in this grey silencing slippery atmosphere . . . and if there is a human girl. The allegory works so powerfully! I am glad she has a plan of action. The structure an cadence of this poem held me until I exited the hole at the bottom reeling.
November 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm
grey IS the color of depression. thank you for sharing your truth with us, Amy. you are a brave and strong woman and i really admire you.
November 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Amy, a grey ballon is the best description of that foggy feeling we know so well.