The poem Invisible is one that has been commented on by a few people after readings. It seems OCD and similar conditions, being invisible – unlike a broken leg – are more common than we might think. I absolutely sympathise with anyone who has difficulties with anxiety. After all, which of us has never gone back to check we locked the front door?
The thing that’s grown inside me
cannot be explored by ultra-sound,
or removed by surgeon’s knife.
I go to work as normal.
It exists inside my gut
and mind: controlling.
To leave the house in haste cannot be done.
First I feed the gnawing devil with ritual;
kettle, cooker, lights, taps,
switches, back-door. Kettle, cooker,
lights, taps, switches, back-door.
It wants more.
Plaster cracking is subsidence,
unknown emails contain viruses.
I cannot pay by phone
or order online just in case.
Awake at night to the electric thrum,
sweating to think of what comes next.
No scan can show this demon.
No lump can be removed.
(This poem appears in South Poetry Magazine #48)