The unravelling man

by You Have My Word

There is a man made of string. He is unravelling, not quickly but all too slowly and all too thoroughly. You don’t even have to watch closely. You won’t

miss a thing

as the string

now begins

to unwind

to its end

every thread

coming loose.

there’s no use

in the fight

to pretend

or prevent

or attempt

to make right

till it’s through.

He doesn’t yet know there is nothing he can do. The thing about unravelling is that you don’t know it’s happening till you’re standing at the halfway                  mark

so you start

and you try

bit by bit

piece by piece

though you still

land up

falling apart.

it takes time

and it’s slow

and you know

you must wait

for the pain

and the ache

to subside.

The unravelling man stands. Still. Still standing. Unravelling like a kite string – being pulled by invisible kite and invisible wind. One day it will land, and he will have to string together a semblance of what he used to be when it all began.

I am the unravelling man. Wearing thin. A candle wick string burning at both ends. Waiting to start again.


The title of this piece was a writing challenge I was given by a friend, no other set parametres. Let me know what you think. What would you have done? How would you have gone about it?