celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

day seventeen


The function of the power of perceiving.


I hold my breath and look down, I visualise, I screw up my eyes and I hope. I hope this time when I look down I will see what I want to see, what I need to see, what I know I should see! Slowly I let the light flood into my eyes, my tired and weary eyes, eyes that have felt the burn of too many salty tears. My blurred vision quickly clears just in time for the tsunami of repulsion, confusion and dread to wash over me once more, as I gaze upon it. Limp and flaccid as it mocks and betrays my very core.  It denies who I am and will not allow me to forget, nor will it allow me to move on.

My mind drifts away as the breeze stirs through the conifers,  my eyes track the trails of a plane drifting across the pale blue sky, I wonder where it’s heading and think about its cargo of families heading away for half term in the sun, or meeting up with family separated by borders and continents.

BUZZ BUZZ….. BUZZ BUZZ….  I’m plucked from my daydreams by a nurse call buzzer, one of my fellow inmates calling for the nurse. I begin to remember what I was thinking about before I drifted away, my memories, my torment before I arrived here.  My fears and apprehension, the questions I asked myself a million times, can I do it? Will I do it? Should I do it? The answer the same each time, yes, yes and yes.

Monday was a bit of a blur really and such a long time ago now. Sure I remember parts of it before sleep came for me and drove away my tormentor. Tuesday though, I remember Tuesday! Tuesday is a day that will stay in my mind for a long time, probably forever in fact!

Tuesday was the day they took the bandages away and removed the dressings, Tuesday was the day I stopped visualising, no more screwing up my eyes and hoping, Tuesday was the day I looked down and saw ME for the first time, past the bruising and swelling I saw what I was always supposed to see, Tuesday was the day the tsunami came full of joy, full of peace and full of happiness. Tuesday was the day I stopped longing and wishing. Tuesday was the day I became whole.




Leah Gaynor, Dover


Comments on: "day seventeen" (1)

  1. great writing, really well-paced…..want to to read more, thanks Leah, x

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