A Different Kind of Pile-Up

My stumble then fall
Causes the usual pile-up—
Shock collides into Judgement
And thrusts her forward
To rear-end Shame

Accusation is next on the scene
Pencil sharpened gleefully
To write her report

Pride and Vanity slink away,
Checking that no-one has seen them
As they slide back into shadow

Disgust and Blame crane
Their sinewy necks
From a window above
—Best not to get too close

But underneath
The weight of buckled metal
And the broken glass
The fallen human
Still cries


Without this pile-up
What would I do?

I could say
It’s ok that you stumbled
Sometimes to fall is just to fall

There does not need to be
That grinding spiral of thought
Or regurgitation of old recrimination

Can there just be a forgetting,
Then a remembering?
A dropping,
Then a picking up?

Could I just let
The softness of compassion
Land on me
Like dappled light through trees
Like a feather
Like a breath
Like a different kind of pile-up?

A poem by Deirdre Gleeson

Images: Dan Farrell, Rahadiansyah

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Deirdre Gleeson
Deirdre Gleeson
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