she will go out of my way to avoid people,
or, at least, limit exposure. After socialising
she needs to recover on her own. Shared time
is exhausting. Many people think she is
an extrovert: she can step up and perform,
it is true, but afterwards, she needs to regrow
her top layers of skin, flayed raw.

Controlling body language, with care
to vocalise correct words, all stings when
there’s no protection there, amidst risk
of hurting and being hurt. Once,
this pressure started her drinking,
now she’s stopped –

and let her manage
by retreating, breathing fresh air
alone, calmly drinking deep

her simple, lonely pleasures

Ceinwen Haydon

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Ceinwen Haydon  would be pleased to hear them.