Shut in

Carolyn Gerrish

acceptance of a diminished life
making the most of it
taking control  existing grimly
by your own rules
it’s a lifestyle choice
been inside for years
(advanced agoraphobia
shouldn’t be seen as a disorder)
but don’t expect the joy
that comes with spontaneity
no need to go shopping
everything’s delivered  &
communications & entertainment
are in-house   email  facebook
dvds  pay tv & streaming  repeats
of Dr Who  Silent Witness & Vera

no plans or possibilities
your priority  to remain safe
if you move away from stasis
an attack could be imminent
when the sun comes up
ignore it   bright days are not for you
remain in bed  leave it to others
to influences things outside their homes
in the past  there were difficulties
dyslexia   critical parents
extreme shyness  ‘never had a bestie’
‘I thought I didn’t fit in’
one day  you might take a risk
surging  dauntless  down the stairs
to the street   smell the fresh grass
the sound of water  bubbling
among the hydrangeas
see the gate  ajar  open to the
crazy path behind the shivering hedge
& you look around  ‘is there someone
i can talk to’

Carolyn Gerrish is a Sydney poet, For many years she has been a creative writing teacher in the community. Her work has been widely published in Australia and overseas. She has read her work at many venues, including the Brett Whiteley Gallery and the Sydney Writers Festival. Her sixth collection of poetry, ‘Collision with the Shadow’ was published in 2022 by Ginninderra Press.



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