I held on so long to a comfort
stuffed into the curve of my arm,
on nights when no one noticed
the child behind this mask of man.
I held on to a space outdated,
to a void I thought I’d vacated,
crouching into a cramped corner
of considered claustrophobia,
convinced I was more the victor
than the victim
(at times we can be both).
I held on so long to a tear
I thought time had torn but tides
are temperamental, unlike teddies,
they fold back on themselves
and we are swept again under, later,
long after, as if they had waited
to defy expectation
(we are experts at expecting to be the exception).
No one and nothing drowns
in the first wave. All and everything
is a cycle, tides come and go
and then return to take some more.
We are children and then adults
until adults lost in longing,
longing to understand the hold
of the child behind this mask of man.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly