Dig Deep.

You scrubbed yourself over me,

making me feel dirty, a wash of panic

in soapy suds and irritating flakes,

a seventies child with memories

of you in the classroom and digging deep

in the dirt of my stomach to quell

the beast of panic, pushed harder

over and over again till people thought

perhaps I was driven, maybe I was,

but it came from the feelings of being unworthy,

push harder, I may as well be an unborn child

in the womb, push harder,

every day you see I give myself one more day to live

in that simple fact I push against the grain

and when I don’t achieve a single thing,

even if it just breathing, then panic

comes along and whispers in the dark

to me, ears cocked and alert, that I am not worthy

of all I have accomplished on this Earth,

push harder…

push harder child, push harder infrequent teen,

push harder, back aches, ignore it, unfit,

smoke too much, all in your head…

push harder now…

now I am tired, that day the sun rises

above the houses at the back of the church

and each night it jaunts off towards New York

and round to California and back again…

push harder, see the dawn, give yourself

one more day to live,

despite making plans to see the rolling blue alien

of the waves of the Pacific in your 50th year,



panic …I dig deep but my shovel and spade

are becoming blunt

and my body is so very tired.


Ian D. Hall 2017