UP

by Margaret Atwood. This is how it feels.
  1. "You wake up filled with dread.
  2. There seems no reason for it.
  3. Morning light sifts through the window,
  4. there is birdsong,
  5. you can't get out of bed.
  6. It’s something about the crumpled sheets
  7. hanging over the edge like jungle
  8. foliage, the terry slippers gaping
  9. their dark pink mouths for your feet,
  10. the unseen breakfast— some of it
  11. in the refrigerator you do not dare
  12. to open— you will not dare to eat.
  13. What prevents you? The future. The future tense,
  14. immense as outer space.
  15. You could get lost there.
  16. No. Nothing so simple. The past, its density
  17. and drowned events pressing you down,
  18. like sea water, like gelatin
  19. filling your lungs instead of air.
  20. Forget all that and let’s get up.
  21. Try moving your arm.
  22. Try moving your head.
  23. Pretend the house is on fire
  24. and you must run or burn.
  25. No, that one's useless.
  26. It's never worked before.
  27. Where is it coming from, this echo
  28. this huge No that surrounds you,
  29. silent as the folds of the yellow
  30. curtains, mute as the cheerful
  31. Mexican bowl with its cargo
  32. of mummified flowers?
  33. (You chose the colours of the sun,
  34. not the dried neutrals of shadow.
  35. God knows you’ve tried.)
  36. Now here’s a good one:
  37. you’re lying on your deathbed.
  38. You have one hour to live.
  39. Who is it, exactly, you have needed
  40. all these years to forgive?"