Reverse 2020

I am sure that many of us would choose to reverse 2020 in an instant if we could.  This year has not only seen a viral pandemic but, resultantly, a mental health pandemic.  Isolation from loved ones and missing out on all that was once considered normal has taken a heavy toll on everyone’s wellbeing.  However, when we reflect on the mental toils and challenges this year has brought, we have risen to the occasion.  Such extreme circumstances have stretched us to tackle what we never thought was possible, and enduring this year has made us mentally stronger than we ever thought we could be.

This reverse poem represents the reversal of this attitude towards 2020: initially it is read as a year of pain and inner turmoil.  Then, when you look back at this year (and thus read the poem backwards) it reveals the positive mental and emotional development across such a tumultuous time.  

I ask that you read it, firstly, as normal, and then read it line by line from the bottom line to the top line to unveil another meaning.


‘Reverse 2020’

I am alone.

And you will no longer hear me say that

I can recover

From the fiery, black pit

In which I am living.

Joy is an impossibility

I cannot deny that

My brain is a cage.

When its sorrowful inmates used to think

They could have escaped,

I would smile at them, as

They were like naïve children.

My thoughts?

Let the plague infect me.

I refuse to

Let my fears fly away like kites.

I will

Be beaten.

Yet these tears will

Fall again –

Give up.

And never will

I stand up,

If I fall again,

I deserve to beg and crawl along the ground.

You will never hear me say that

I am okay.



Image: by Alan Levine on Flickr

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