3 a.m.

Notice of absence from HannahElisabeth
Taking a long overdue mental health vacation. I will check in when I can.

It's 3 a.m. 


you wake in a cold sweat 




as you hear the car being locked 


outside your window in the parking lot


and your body doesn't care 


if it's him 


or someone else


cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine


coursing through your system 


in fight or flight 


a survival mechanism


you know the rules of the game 


and all you can do is freeze 


it's what you learned since you were 12 or 13 


when your mother used to scream 


to the point you left your own body 


just to make sense of the senselessness


of a broken home and nowhere to go



-20 seconds-



-30 seconds-



feels like an eternity


waiting for signs he's not coming home 


and he doesn't 



and you cry 


when your cat leaves your side 


to stand guard by the door 


when he sees your eyes dart back and forth 


ears on high alert


for the same signs you're waiting for 


like there's anything he could do


should it open



it's now 5 p.m.


living in a different city 


you tell yourself he doesn't know 


your apartment number 


when that very same sound 


makes your blood run cold to the core


as you sit in the study hall


and the process starts all over 



it's been months and months since you left 


but that feeling


never did.


  • Teddy.15

    A truly magnificent piece as usual Hannah, you brought all the emotion and the helplessness, you are such a great writer, shudders down my spine. Kudos.

    • HannahElisabeth

      Thank you dear Teddy; always bringing a smile to my face!

    • Doggerel Dave

      Now I don’t want to be picky, but somewhere I thought there were some ‘happier pieces’ in the offing…….

      However, that noted, I want you to know this particular effort (I use the term advisedly – it would have taken considerable toll on memory and emotion) is for me a window into a situation I read about and am confronted with via other media, but nothing has bought it home in such a raw way as this.

      Thanks Hannah.

      • HannahElisabeth

        What can I say, the inspiration hit and I just had to share. I have one that I'm still editing from my lovely adventures in nature, and a very particular piece I'm quite fond of. But that won't be shared until my next poetry reading for reasons you'll see soon enough. Gotta build that anticipation, right?

        I greatly appreciate the thanks. I'm content (happy feels a bit too chipper here) to hear I accomplished my goal of sharing a glimpse into what many survivors go through on a daily basis.

        • Doggerel Dave

          Ah, I see… going to keep us in suspenders for a little longer… I have no problem with this; delayed gratification prolongs anticipation – half the fun….

        • Garth Rakumakoe

          Emotionally vivid. Written with such sober clarity. I felt it. Kudos, fellow writer.

          • HannahElisabeth

            Thank you for such kind words, they are much appreciated!

          • L. B. Mek

            and through all-things bleak
            and barbarically vile, that tried
            but mercifully, Failed
            to diminish the Beauty of your Bravery
            or the majesty, in your fight
            to imbue your Poetry
            with the purity of Goodness, you still Choose to embrace
            in your purpled Heart, despite
            the abundance of darkness and hurt, in your life...
            (it's a privilege to ready your Poetry
            and its an honour, to be a part of your existence, dear Poet
            keep believing,
            keep searching,
            keep healing!
            thank you, for choosing to share)

            • HannahElisabeth

              Thank you dearly, once again, for such kindness in your words. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

            • dusk arising

              Such drama! Really enjoyed this suspenseful sad tale. A story being told the world over for those lucky enough to have an escape path.

              Life can be so undeservedly cruel.

              • HannahElisabeth

                Thank you Dusk! I'm beyond grateful that I can write about such things in a much better place.

                I feel as though it's worth mentioning one of my favorite quotes from Mr. Rogers, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping". At the very least, that has been my fortunate experience.

              • SureshG

                That dreaded feeling, I pray is just a poetic license - for the horror of your words is truly jarring

              • Coyote

                Awesome write Hannah and congrats on finding a spoken word group.

              • spilleronsheet

                It felt surreal
                As if the scenes were happening in front
                You staged it so well

                • HannahElisabeth

                  Thank you so much for the compliment! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read and comment 🙂

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