3 poems by Doryn Herbst : I Try to Think, You Stay Calm, & The Knife

shallow focus photography of white feather dropping in person's hand

photo by Javardh (unsplash)

I Try to Think   
CW: Institutional Abuse

I cannot hold my fork without
dropping it five times
and five more times again.
I cannot walk but I can feel.
I cannot talk but I can scream.
Now, I have been put out of the way
to teach me how to behave
in the right way.

But you, your hands so gentle,
your smile so sweet,
take my wheelchair out of the cold,
welcome me back into the warm.

When confusion explodes in my head
like fireworks in the sky,
I try to think I know that you are right
to say, kindness is the only way.

Even when the others say that
they have more experience
than you, that they know best,
that you do not know how to do
things in the right way. They tell
you it must not happen again,
you behave in such a way that
is too soft, you must remember,
the rules must be obeyed. 

I try to think I know that you are right
because my legs do so hurt so very much.

You, Stay Calm!
CW: Institutional abuse

I can’t do the things
as quickly as you want me
to do them.

When you get upset,
I get upset.

I can’t explain to you how I feel,
I can’t explain anything at all,
so, I have to show you by what I do.
I don’t want to throw food across the table,
pull your hair hard or scratch your cheek.
I want you to see me
and what I need.

Your voice is very loud,
I see you are even more upset
and so am I. Now, two people are needed
to calm me down.

I have to come to this establishment 
because I have some special needs.

Why can’t you just give me
the space and time I need to finish
what you want me to do?


The Knife

One sentence,

like a slim, fine knife,
double-edged, sharp,

to cut you dead.

Slips easily to the centre
of the heart.


Bio: (she/her) Doryn’s writing considers the natural world but also darker themes of domestic violence and bullying. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, The Dirigible Balloon, CERASUS Magazine and forthcoming in Sledgehammer Literary Journal. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry journal.




By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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