Critical Condition

The poem focuses on learned helplessness and the pursuit of unhappiness, and on the preference some people seem to have to be a victim rather than to change their circumstances for the better. Maybe for some it’s easier.

'Critical Condition'

Do not disturb. I am licking my wounds

To make sure that they never heal

Don’t turn me around – I am facing the past,

The present or future unreal.

It’s a zero-sum game with only one rule

For everyone’s loss there’s a win

And for everyone’s win someone else has to lose

We are trapped with original sin.

If I turn into salt that’s my Lot in this world

But I’m not going to take all the blame

I’m a victim of circumstance, not out of choice

They made me take part in this game.

This virtual prison does nicely for me,

I’m used to it now. Close the door

On your way out please. No, wait, don’t go

You’ll have me believing there’s more.

(Jenny Knight, 2018)

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