I hear the call to shrink…

Ahead of White Ribbon Day 2023, we held ‘Writing into Recovery’ poetry workshops as part of our Wellbeing Service with women. The classes focused on writing poetry as a path towards ownership, discovery and transformation led by poet Penny Hughes, using this year’s White Ribbon Day theme, #ChangeTheStory. The poems featured in a trail around Stapleford to mark White Ribbon Day.

This poem was written by participant, Susanna.


I hear the call to shrink,
To shrivel to a hollow husk.
Barren, broken, small,
A silent slipping into dusk.

Barely visible to the world,
There’s safety in the camouflage – freedom too.
Blandness invites indifference
Which is preferable to

Rejection and disappointment,
Cold air filling the room,
As my heart sinks deep in grief and shame
For all I had to lose.