Swan Lake

Written by: Sharon Tideswell

She had elegance and poise...
on the surface at least.
A deceptive calm;
swanlike.

Beneath,
a desperate struggle
against undercurrents
known only to her
and others in the same water.

She wasn’t sure if the water
was too hot
or too cold.
Neither did she see the shore;
she couldn’t see it...

yet she seemed, to her friends,
to walk there
with an air of confidence;
pristine in appearance.

To face the outside world
she boiled pans
to wash
her clothes
by hand.

To hide from her inner world
she wrote
poetry
and she read,
but never the mail;
those words would crumble
her fragile veneer.
Still, unopened,
they remained a malignant threat,
silently growing.

She had paid
hard earned money;
planned
for times such as these.

Insurances; protection plans;
vaccinations
against the virus of poverty,
but she hadn’t planned
on being trapped
by the so-called
welfare state.

There was never any immunity.