PURITY by Fiona Goodwin

Purity descended on me today
It wasn’t mine, or so I thought
It came from somewhere else
And yet it was addressed to me
A wave of goodness.
My own.

How does a soul
Step over the chasm
From ‘wicked’ to ‘good?’
My motivations have always been suspect,
I was on the most wanted list in my own bedroom
all my childhood
Someone was coming for me
24/7 on high alert
Ready for that door to swing wide
for the entering shadow to darken the light in my eyes, my heart, my hope.
It’s made me nervous to open doors, any doors

So when Corona came,
I thought
“Good I can stay shut inside.”
I’ll be safe here

And then I felt souls, like mine, knocking,
Asking to be let in,
Asking to be let out
Asking not to be left alone.

The sound was faint at first
It couldn’t be me they were looking for?
That would be presumptuous and not at all British
And I’ve always been a show off
So I put my fingers in my ears.

The sound got louder
Then I gasped a breath of purposelessness
Shall I be the Dead Sea
Where nothing thrives because the river comes in
And has nowhere to go?

My ego shouted
“Who do you think you are?”
But my soul wanted, needed to be useful.

I put on my big girl pants
Then quickly removed them because
The terror of pressing the “live” button
Sent me to the bathroom
Where I stayed till there was nothing left inside me.
Sitting there, I recited
What’s the worst that can happen?
I’ll make a fool of myself
People I’ve never met won’t like me
They will sense that I’m a fake, that I crave love and attention.
All true.

I pressed the button
And scribbled on my notepad
And a poem appeared –
That was weird!
And then some old friends and strangers said hello
They were kind and happy to see me it seemed
Buoyed up
I did the same the next day Each show preceded by the same amount of time in the bathroom –
And this during a toilet paper shortage!
And then for forty days..
And now I’ve swaggered through a year.
And since January
The bathroom has barely featured.

I learnt that being ‘bad’ as a child gave me skills
And a love for those shut in
That a locked door rarely confounds me
That there is no greater adventure
Than changing me
And finding you
And the purity of who we are meant to be