When I Make Space to Pause – A Poem

When I Make Space to Pause

by Shreya Manna

So. When I make space to pause, I listen.

The bones at the base of my neck are instruments,

Clicking and clacking and croaking under the weight of an uneasy head.

My feet oscillate. Drumsticks on a d-d-d-d-drum roll.

The mind scans and measures each line because it has to be correct and good writing – not, you

know, bad writing, not cheesy writing, not ‘you write bad poetry’ writing and like …

[voice fades into the distance]

When I make space to pause, I ask.

What are you trying to tell me?

I can name you: dread, anxiety, panic, hysteria, but –

I don’t know you, not fully. Click. Clack. Croak.

I can only listen, and love, and hope to know more.

One day this life may crack open truth and I will be there,

Patiently waiting to realise. With every breath I try

To remind myself once again that it is ok not to know,

And it is ok to be writing awkward poetry looking for answers

And it is ok not to be enough in the eyes of everyone ever.