Archives for posts with tag: isolation


I am alone in this garden.
Alone with this pain.

I have told you before
how everyone has left me,
all have turned their backs,
all have chosen blindness
for the immunity it affords.
They are cut off from
their compassion.

There is no one to hide me away
from those who wish me harm,
who hate me without cause,
other than their sickness.

And I come to you with nothing left,
with empty hands, with a heart
weighed down by isolation and dread
and by the darkness itself, which seems
deep enough to snuff out my cries.
I know what is coming.

What I have already borne
is too heartbreaking. Though I am
strong and sturdy, the betrayal has
weakened me, has slowed my feet,
garbled my words.

I am afraid.

I have no one I can trust.
My sweat is tinged the color
of these roses in front of me
as I sit in this garden,
feeling unwell and uncertain
and small; powerless to deter
what must overtake me
to fulfill something greater
than myself.

The pain makes my head feel
as if it would burst, and the tears
that stream down offer no respite.
There is no one coming to aid me,
is there. You can hear me but
you do not help me, as much
as it hurts you to see me in this state.

We both agreed to this once upon a time.
Only we underestimated something.
We had no idea what it would actually
feel like to be here among them,
to become one of them. To nurse
from a breast, to learn to use our legs
and form words with our mouths,
to see blood spring from a scraped knee.

To see the sunrise as one of them,
to know friendship as they give and receive it.
To feel the warmth of a fire, an animal;
of brotherhood, of working side by side
until some work is accomplished.

To feel a fever, a lump in the throat,
our stomachs stirring with hunger.
To know the feeling of cool water on our
bodies. To know how they feel, and
what they feel, when they feel anything
in their world.

And now you’ve had me here,
building a life, an occupation, a purpose,
for some time. Enough context to make
the ending even more exquisitely
painful than we already anticipated
it would be.

This has become too complicated,
too wrought with attachments.
And I am certain now the torment
well under way will be unbearable.
It is too much.

That is all I can say
on this horrible night.
Words are escaping me now,
and my heart won’t stop pounding.
It has brought me little peace
to speak honestly to you, to make
my feelings known, in spite of the forces
already at work against me.

I know I am loved,
I know there will be an end
to my suffering, my fear and despair,
and that is all I have in this dark moment.

Claire Juno, © 2015


The intention of this writing is rooted in empathy, wondering what this experience could have been like, to the best that I can understand it.


My Place

Welcome, welcome.
This is where you will stay.
Even if you think you have
left, this space will continue
to contain you, because that
is the way I have designed
it to be. It almost defies
the imagination, but soon
enough, you will struggle
to remember what life
was like outside of here.
And forgetting will ensure
your docility.

I don’t expect that to make
sense to you just now,
but you will see, with time,
how my words prove true,
no matter what you do.

Over there on the door
you will notice a lock,
and here on the bureau,
a key. Rest assured, neither
are what they seem to be.
The parameters of this place
are not controlled by
external objects of security
or imprisonment. This is
nothing you need to worry
about, however, for I have
everything under control.

You may view me
as a captor, though I think
it would make things easier
for you — dare I say, even
pleasant? — if you thought
of me as the one who desires
to take care of you, here,
forever, by making sure
nobody else can reach you;
by becoming your ultimate source
of everything, a sort of
temperamental emergency god.

I know it may feel a bit like
you are owned; a domesticated
animal living within the confines
and caprices of her owner.
But what is there to complain
about? So long as you have
all that you need here
in this turret, so long as
you do not make ridiculous
demands on me, such as hearing
your opinion, acknowledging
your needs or considering
your feelings or rights —
well, I think we will both find
this arrangement quite

Remember, there is only
one side here. Mine. It is best
if you do not forget that
because I tend to be rather
unforgiving about slip-ups.

I will see that your wings
are clipped regularly, one way
or another, so that you cannot
escape the scepter of my
mercurial benevolence.

I will see that you have food
and water and air and modest
opportunities, though keep in
mind that there may be times
when I, in my sovereignty,
may choose to withhold or limit
even these commodities in order
to secure your compliance.

I see you turning slowly in place,
as though you were looking for
something. There are no mirrors
here; frankly I find them a distraction.
I shall be your mirror, your
sole source of self-identification —
reflecting back to you exactly
what I view you to be.

Claire Juno, © 2014