Release. by Stephen Lightbown

In sukhasana I observe myself, sat in my wheelchair
in front of a painting. There’s a row of terraced houses.
I watch myself stand from the wheelchair
and walk into the canvas. Through the brown door
of a house like the one I lived in as a child.
I do not question how my skin has stretched
into a stride. The painting looks like a Lowry
but is not. The person I watch walk into my old
childhood looks like me but is not. I call to the other me,
ask him to describe the room I always felt safe in.
He does not hear me and has already climbed
into the embrace of a memory. There is an ocean
in my throat, I decide to fill the room
with water. It feels good to release the emotions
that no longer serve me. I decide to choose
something else. I decide to let go.

Stephen Lightbown is a poet who writes extensively but not exclusively about life as a wheelchair user. Stephen is the author of two poetry collections for adults Only Air and The Last Custodian (both from Burning Eye Books). In 2023 he will publish his first poetry books for children through Troika Books. He lives in Bristol in the UK.
Stephen's latest collection can be bought via