Old familiar, the one who’s friend and foe.
Knowing it’s been too long since last time
he’s come again, especially to see you.
Wants to hear how you’ve been: fine, fine,
can’t complain, things are pretty good y’know,
great actually… and he listens in close
as you talk, smiles his smile. The all-time low.
He'll leave the way the worm leaves the rose.
Next time you’re trying to stand your ground –
argue your case, sprint the home straight,
stare yourself down in the mirror at eight –
he’ll be there alright. His smile is a frown.
His frown is a scowl. His scowl is the fear
you hoped had long gone. Still here. Still here.
poem by Ben Wilkinson