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Poem about Coming Through Bad Times

Updated on January 5, 2015

I met you in a dark place,

Derelict walls, crumbling down around me,

Nothing to hold them together.

I wanted to build them up again

But I didn't know how.

The corners held black secrets.

I couldn't go there, didn't want to see,

Couldn't put my hand in the cobwebs

For fear of what I might find there

Or what would come to me.

The windows seemed a long way up.

Black and grimy, it was hard to see out.

I used to think it was better that way -

Easier than breaking out; climbing free,

Easier than looking for the key.

The key had been lost for years,

So long, I had almost given up searching.

After all, you get used to it in the end.

You forget where you were headed to start with,

So you just sit down, and you stay.

I stayed among the chaos, the old stuff,

The junk that no one wanted.

It was strangely comforting.

I began to feel as though it belonged to me,

As though it was meant to be.

I lost sight of who I had been

And I had forgotten where I was going,

Stuck here in this old, crumbling house -

But then you came to find me

And I started to see again.

I started to remember that

I had known where the key was all along,

That I had always had a choice.

I had locked the door myself.

You made me want to open it.

The outside air suddenly hit me.

It was warm on my skin and my soul.

You showed me that dark corners can

Disappear with a bit of light

And that cobwebs can be dusted

And as we went outside together

I realised that the world is far bigger than

This crumbling house of mine.

It is so much more exciting.

I walked forwards, didn't look back.

My old, derelict house fell down,

But I was free; I had already left.

It crumbled into nothing.

All the junk and old stuff disappeared

And I built a brand new world.

About This Poem

As its title suggests, this poem explores the experience of going through bad times and coming out the other side. The significance of the old, derelict house is metaphorical - it implies a state of mind rather than an actual building. The subject of the poem has become locked in a cycle of negativity, allowing pessimistic thought patterns to take hold. They are 'locked into' the house, but it is of their own doing. What's more, the 'house' is crumbling down around the subject because a healthy control on life has been lost. This becomes so ingrained it becomes 'normal' and 'strangely comforting'. The fear of breaking through the pessimism and facing one's own demons has become greater than maintaining this lonely and negative existence. In this case, it takes someone else to bring brightness to the subject's life, giving them the willingness to move forward at last.


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    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 2 years ago from UK

      Hi Kristen, so sorry that I missed this before, thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, I agree that losing a loved one and moving through and beyond that difficult time would be a similar situation. Thanks for reading!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Beautiful poem. Very moving and touching. I guess, coming through a hard time would also be losing someone you love and mourning their loss, too. You do have a way in words.... for poetry. Voted up!

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 3 years ago from UK

      @Nell Rose - Thanks Nell. I think your friend is so right, we do make our own prisons more often than we realise. Thank you so much for reading :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Polly, I thought it was a great poem and so true, I remember a friend of mine once said, 'we make our own prisons' and I thought of that when I read this, we do hold the key, only we don't realise it, wonderful!

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 4 years ago from UK

      Hi hichkey - Thank you so much for reading my poem, I am so pleased you liked it. I must apologise for not responding earlier, somehow I missed your comment. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      hichkey 4 years ago

      Very nice poem..Thanks for sharing this heart touching poem.