picture of a beach

Half Empty

A poem about trying to overcome trauma.

Mental health and wellbeing
By VoiceBox ·

A.M. Reid

A.M. Reid is a 23-year-old freelance content writer based in the UK.

Half Empty

A note from the writer: "this poem explores being entrapped in trauma, and although constantly trying to push free and ‘move on', never being able to truly escape."

If I was a crab, I could moult away my skin when it turns too tight, 

grow a new one, more spacious. 

You’ll be okay you’re strong you’ll move on 

I try to swallow them but they’re stuck, there, in the back of my throat,

so I regurgitate them all back up with I’m okay – strong – I’ll move on 

like a mother bird feeding her worried chicks. 

This seems to satisfy them.

They stop saying the words they think they need to say. 

But I’m left starved; stomach half empty.


If I was a crab, and not a mother bird, I could scuttle, at least sideways, at least something,

I could scuttle into the waves and vanish, let the sea drift me from scalding sands, rinse it all away

and I think, I think then I would be okay.

At least, until the tide pulls me back to shore.

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