My chest has drawstrings.

Some days they pull so tight

my lungs cram up into my throat.

They stop words from forming,

keep me from telling you why

I can’t keep my hands still

or quite catch my breath.

They keep me trapped, alone.


Quadrilles are perhaps my favourite form of poetry at the moment. They’re short, sharp, and oh so punchy. Tonight’s prompt from the dVerse Poets Pub is to write a quadrille using the word ‘fear’ as your inspiration. Unfortunately this is a word I have a fair amount of experience with, I’ve let anxiety box me into corners more often than I like to admit.

If you want to join in then click the badge above and check out the pub and all its patrons. I’ve no doubt they’ll be overjoyed to meet you.


        1. Poetry is a great way of putting emotions into words and it’s a great vehicle for working through complicated feelings or trying times. Over the last few years my poetry has defiantly moved towards more personal experiences because of how helpful it has been in working through them.


          1. I love words, love learning new words, but I usually feel at a loss for finding the ones I really want, don’t think I’d be too good at poetry. You do it very well though 😊


      1. You’re definitely not alone. I was officially diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) 18 years ago, but I’d been struggling with it since I was 13 (just turned 52 the other day). I usually describe it as the age-old and overused, “elephant stepping on my chest” but I think I might start using the drawstring analogy. 🙂


  1. Carol, you have definitely created the sensation of fear. Just to clarify, the quadrille posts we toss our there ask for the use of the word fear in the body of the poem. I will do better at clarifying that in the future. That being said, this is a wonderful descriptive poem. I wish I’d thought of it in writing my first novel.


  2. You captured the true essence of anxiety by your immaculate usage of words. Having gone through depression myself I sometimes feel sad the way society reacts to people going through depression & anxiety like if a someone is going through a physical problem society may sympathize with that person but the same society sometimes mocks & degrades people going through psychological problems. I mean aren’t the lives of people going through psychological problems as valuable as the lives of someone going through physical problems? Nonetheless, it was a wonderful poem I really admire the fact that you expressed your thoughts regarding anxiety in such a profound way. I too wrote a few poems like “Scars”, “The Knife”, etc to talk about the similar issues on my blog. According to your convenience please do read some of my writings would love to know what you think about them 🙂

    Warm Regards,


  3. No problem with not using the actual word fear, this poem is fear. You have brought me there right into the lungs, and the hungry abundance of air seeming totally worthless. Hope the drawstrings are finding a way to relax a bit since last year.


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