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Lean in and Learn

Earthed in Leeds

Your life is relentless 

And it will always be so

Because you live seriously 

Manic or happy? 

I can only tell at the last second,

When my breath escapes me 

And my fuzzy temples 

Warn that lying down 

is what’s needed right now.

On the ground 

I remember what’s important 

That I’m the boss

That for the sake of my being 

I have to lean in and learn on the job 

That the guides promised to me 

Have retired early 

Leaving me to hack out my own path 

Clumsily, tearing down forest

Stumbling onto the next obvious epiphany 

Again and again 

Until I’ve stomped out my own stomping ground

Three circles before 

I lay down voluntarily 

Sleep and dream unashamedly 

Flirting with each possible reality 

Happy happy happy 

Until I wake 

Notice that in my slumber 

The roots of what came before 

have woven slyly into my space 

Plant seeds of doubt 

Whisper that even here you are not safe 

The only options left are to evacuate

or excavate 

each unhelpful moment 

Replanting them in pots repainted 

I lay down voluntarily again 

Sleep and dream unashamedly again 


And do it all, 


Words: Emily Matthews, she/they

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