The Changing Story

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, Sarah.

The Changing Story

Just crawling along as caterpillars do
A brightly coloured flower beckoned me over
See, here my bright petals and succulent leaves,
Come and see, be with me.

Hesitantly I crawled over that way,
The promises made were just
Too much, resistance was futile
I was lured to the deadly trap.

The leaves were all barbed, scratches and stings
That knew no end to the pain they caused
The shiny smooth gloss disguising their
Hidden weapons, always ready to draw.

The flowers a never ending maze
So many twists and turns, no way
To escape the endless paths, each one
a dead end with nowhere to turn.

By chance my escape, a miracle no doubt
Plucked away with the weeds,
Dumped with the rubbish
The compost bin, my brand new home.

Chucked down to the bottom
in the dark, decaying mess.
With all the rotten death,
But wait I am alive.

Those barbs are all gone,
Wilted and crushed, they
Can’t reach the light,
They have no more fight.

Finally free from the poison
That kept me hostage
I crawl my way through every tiny
Nook and cranny.

The light that greets me,
It’s so bright, brighter than I recall
I feel so tiny, so afraid, so small
This world is so brand new.

Tired from the journey,
No more fight from within,
I rest, lay down my head
Finally at peace.

My rest is long, releasing
All the fears, finally relaxing
My beautiful new home
My snuggly cocoon.

Then suddenly one day
I finally awake to a new
Feeling, an experience unknown
My freedom is mine alone.

I stretch and reach out into
This brand new wide world
of hope and love, fortune
discoveries to be made.

I venture out, the sun dazzles
My eyes searching the new
Way forwards, the new path
Stretching before me.

But wait I am crawling no more
A pair of beautiful wings, hold
My head up high, ready to fly
Into the beautiful blue yonder.

Hesitating I try my first
Journey alone to test these
New wings, what if they fail
Letting me fall?

But fall I did not, flying
So high I had never known
Sights never seen, sounds
Unheard, smiles all around.

This new life, it’s the
Best I can be!
The butterfly
That’s me!