A Bullet in The Hourglass

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Mental Illness and depression are difficult topics to discuss. Poetry has always been a safe space to explore deep emotions and thoughts. I understand these topic can be triggering for some, so this poem does come with a trigger warning because I do talk about suicidal thoughts and ideations. It is my hope that if you continue to read the poem and you or a loved one struggle with depression that you know you are not alone, you are loved, and it does get better. The most important thing is to seek help. Here are some resources from around the world:


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A bullet pierced the hourglass,
It melted the sand into tears of molten lava
And slowly hardened,
entrapping the ruptured metal inside an explosion,
perfectly contained,
as if time stood still before hell broke loose,

I eye the metal jacket,
smoke still coming from the gun in hand,
hoping for sand to bleed out,
for something in my life to go to plan,
Instead, I tap the edges of the hourglass,
fused by the heat of the bullet with the gun,
I took my finger off the trigger,
and touched it in disbelief,
it was hard as a rock with the bullet encased
in a singular glassy tear inside,

I took a deep breath, and raised my arm,
cocked the revolver back,
one eye on the glass, one in the chamber,
point blank range, no screw ups this time,
this one’s going to stick,
I inhale and then exhale,
one last breath before… the gun jams,

I go to unclog the revolver,
and the bullets dissolve into sand,
defeated, tormented, comically divinely mocked,
I fall to my knees and raise my hands to the heavens,
and yell, “God what do you want from me?”

The heavens break open,
and the sun shines a singular ray down on me,
The wind rustles and my heart heaves,
I hear a still quiet voice, almost a whisper,
which vanished as quickly as the morning vapor,
it told me to live to tell the tale,
so I own a bullet that pierced my hourglass figure,
it still lives wedged in my chest

There was no rhyme or reason just a hair trigger,
well actually there were a million reasons,
some justified, some that would make your toes curl,
all tragic, all if I told you, would garner your sympathy,
make you shake your head, and say what a shame,
but I’m not ashamed because
I chose to live that day until the sands run out naturally,
I don’t need your sympathy,
I only need to live to tell the tale

~ By Hyacinth Hale

Medical Adventure

“We are going on an adventure” I try to tell myself.
An adventure no one wanted,
An adventure filled with loud strange sounds,
Loneliness, and painful procedures,
Medications that relieve one symptom,
Only to have a thousand other side effects,
But you will take it for the one symptom that ails you,
The one symptom that kills you,
The one symptom that drags you into the Emergency Room
In the middle of the night,

Veteran chronically ill patients, they know the drill,
They make calculated decisions based on the day of the week,
Time of day, condition needed to be treated, previous medical rapport,
They pack sweaters, change of clothes (always loose fitting), chargers, a book, snacks, 
In fact, if it’s a non-emergency “emergency”, 
They eat before they go
Because the ER does not provide food,
And many of us have waited twelve plus hours before,
Stomachs gurgling, tired, weary, sick, wishing we were anywhere else,
They pack a hospital bag like a mountaineer pack their backpack
Because to many of them, the hospital is Everest,
Many go in not all come out,

There are battle wounds and scars,
Stories to be told,
Some stories too gruesome to tell in polite company,
When the body oozes pus and blood,
No one wants to hear it over the dinner table,
Not with lumpy mash potatoes and sloppy gravy,
Not with knives carving into roast beef like a scalpel in flesh,
To remind them of what some bodies endure,
And others are fortunate to escape,

It is hard to explain what it is like to be hooked up to an IV,
Writhing in pain, bed ridden, wishing you were on an adventure,
Somewhere exotic like the jungles of the Amazon,
Or the Sand dunes of Egypt exploring the pyramids,
Or stargazing on top of a volcano in Iceland,

These mental escapisms are sometimes the only thing
That get me through my own medical journey,
I can be anywhere, do anything, be anyone,
I am invincible, and it gives me hope to fight a little harder,
Because somewhere in make believe
Where the medical adventure
And the pretend adventure cross paths,
I find truth and inner strength to fight,
To keep pushing my body a little further,
To keep going on the adventure, 

I take a deep breath in,
And I take a deep breath out,
As the syringe sinks in my skin
“We are going on an adventure…”

~ By Hyacinth Hale

Birthing Butterfly Wings

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No one asks a butterfly how she gets her wings, 
She is hidden in her cocoon, 
And they marvel at her metamorphosis, 
As she breaks through her shell, 
Stretching her colored scars for all to see, 
No longer a grub that crawls on her belly, 
But a beautiful mystical fairy that flies, 
That they pray will grace them with a kiss on their skin,

They would love to catch her, but she is elusive, 
A trauma response from when she was in the cocoon, 
And predators tried to clip her wings before they grew, 
The people, they will say, “look at her now! I knew her when she was belly aching!”, 
But they didn’t want to stay for the bone breaking lonely transformation,

No, she had to climb the tree; she had to build her cocoon, 
She had to go deep into the depths of her darkness, 
And form her new identity, slowly growing new appendages, 
Thoughtfully painting her wings, after isolation, 
After sometimes rapid and sometimes slow but always painful growth, 
After surviving predators jostling her cocoon at her most vulnerable 
After enduring nature’s hierarchy stating she is fragile, 
Stating she is tiny, stating she is insignificant,

It is then, the butterfly can burst through her cocoon, 
And spread her wings defying all expectations, 
She unfurls her new manifesto wings for the bystanders 
Who stopped to see the spectacle she performs, 
She knows now she no longer belongs on the ground, 
She no longer laments over her old scars, 
She made them a tapestry, 
Beguiling and enchanting even the most persnickety naysayer,
Bringing the joy of a child back to their heart, 
And hope that they too can overcome 
What grounds them into the dirt

~ By Hyacinth Hale