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    colourful painting of back to back figures in fetal position

    Reality, check

    This poem from a contributor was written shortly before finding out that her sister was in an abusive relationship. Along with the accompanying painting, it gives an insight into the complex feelings around such a discovery.

    By 11.07 AM I am captured, chased,
    threatened by knives, guns and clichés
    while tied to a chair
    with my sister.

    It is not the man we thought
    it was, but his twin-
    when we ask the one who looks like him
    he has a vague idea

    as denial shines a guiltless light
    of shadow via polar eyes
    it glints as sun internally
    through cracks in council roofing.

    They say dreams reveal the mental mess
    which we’ve intended not to know
    although I guess that all depends
    on whether we remember;

    at best they are a metaphor, but less
    which leaves us lacking all the rest
    of why distress is not an issue for
    the bias of the bystander.

    Here the facts never quite fit-
    I’m sure the hair was gone, not
    blonde, I know
    I did not know a hero then
    or own a car to lose-

    so some things still aren’t true,
    but feelings?
    Feeling like the past repeating,
    deja-vu of you still choose
    to have your choices cut-

    a need to be controlled, a need
    I need to talk with you
    about- I have it too
    and all I do is do not choose

    to talk with you about the room
    where we were tied
    while dreaming.

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