A Window Through to Your Soul
by Zoë Hickerson
Xlibris NZ

"How do we remain positive that our relationship is going to thrive
We are going to strive
To make it to the other side."

Hickerson’s poetry compilation is undeniably authentic and open, expressing a level of vulnerability that connects with millions dealing with the prisons of their own mind. Though the speakers of each poem detail their experience with depression, the pathway from darkness into light is well lit by Hickerson. Having worked in mental health nursing, she effectively highlights the inner turmoil from her own firsthand experiences and that of those she encountered on a regular basis.

Though there is no clear rhyme scheme, the use of short, quick lines keeps the energy and flow of the poetry moving. In poems like “In My Shed” and “Pondering life,” audiences navigate pertinent discussions of self-healing and self-improvement as well as the idea of putting life on hold as inner demons ravage the mind. Hickerson best captures this helplessness in “The new one,” where the frightened bird—a representation of the self—and thoughts are enslaved in the concrete jungle of the mind. The speaker holds nothing back in describing feelings of being lost one day while finding themselves during another; it is a constant roller coaster as depicted in “Skid Marks” and “I could be wrong.”

In the midst of darkness, Hickerson changes the narrative to discovery and spiritual awakening. In particular, “Things Change” shows how to unravel the entangled thoughts and mental barriers. “Plastic Fantastic,” for instance, encourages readers to live their real lives. Perhaps the most hopeful and impactful poems are “My life flashed before me” and “Great Aunt Maud.” The former depicts the terrifying internal dialogue that plagues the individual, while the latter speaks of a resurgence of life. Throughout, Hickerson does a commendable job of weaving together raw experiences with a glimmer of hope and a path forward for audiences experiencing or surrounded by mental illnesses.

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