I was a child full of awe, skipping through seconds,

the ground stable as rabbits hopped

in their secret world,

my tread an unknown curse.

Dirt split under shiny shoes, my head

f

a

l

l

i

n

g

below marks I’d made,

my body w i d e arms o p e n

 

dress blowing, earth moving, hands grasping, air –

past present and future colliding…

 

THUMP.

Eyes open to symmetry; uncomfortable perfection –

glass doors make me insane, with a key that fits

but a body that can’t.

 

My face baptised by my streaming eyes.

 

“DRINK ME” the bottle shouts into silence,

shrinking I am whole again; the key is forgotten.

 

“EAT ME” the cake calls into stillness,

growing I am too much, too me, crying a sea, but clasping the

special key.

Shrinking again I tumble into salty tides and struggle

to hold onto myself.

 

I meet a Mouse, go into the White Rabbit’s house,

growing and growing further from my mind.

 

I’m lost in this forest tripping over roots I’ve grown,

breaking what I’m made of.

 

The mushrooms are to blame for the swirling

in my stomach. Who was I before?

 

Shuffling the cards I can’t find a way out.

 

The Cat in Wonderland told me

I am mad

but we all are.

 

Words: Naomi Riley-Dudley

Image source: The Walt Disney Pictures Films