Because you are not a stranger

usually I am too reticent, restrained, packaged away

in some hat box with a faded bow

to reach, to linger, to listen

I am a carefully tended garden without entrance

belies her wild interior and the need she has to be untamed

and still you spoke

tearing through the bower, the shrubbery, all my thorns

as natural if we had just been interrupted. having a long conversation

bounding into my life with that long-legged gait reminding me

of those California girls with skin you want to photograph

and ride on horses with until their cheeks get hot

no you are not a stranger

anymore than my French fatalism

is contrary to the opalescent sway of things

we all hang in some form or fashion

from our necks till light betrays our dreaming

and we must enter the sore lot of reality with something of

a bitterness

still tasting on our lips

that Chapstick kiss, faintly cherry

you have

known me before

we have existed before now

a familiar, in intonation and even

that shared day of birth

as if

the light

of the projector

and the quilt of screen

wrote us a history

far from dead ends that labor over hand outs

people who wear you down without

saying a word

with just the fatigue of their eyes

how they cannot see anything of that invisible world

we exist for.

You whisper; “with your eyes closed

you know the sound of my voice and its certainty

its pedantic, bordering on monotonous glee

because it is already familiar”

as something

grown before thought

had elected her bloom to

cover with fragrant reminder

every space of green with flower.

Sometimes even fear meets her match

in destined spots blessed by more than our

mortal hands

I think you have

some power of mind reading

when you turn the page

and set the needle to play

my tune of the winding road

I feel a circle

moving across my body

like a finger tip tracing

without permission and yet


the outline of my

shadowed self

brought into light.

You usher joy

spreading a scotch blanket

among simple earth and its undulation

though I would turn lobster red

obeying, the sun bleeds behind horizon as if

with the power of your intention

you had dimmed the switch.

Our hands wind together


even if you hadn’t told me

even if I hadn’t known

your hands would have

given it away

as your mouth

a perpetual patient smile

looks to find

a way to speak

without words.

I would ask

what is your intention with my heart

like a concerned father

watching shifting eyes

only you stare back at me

unblinking and open

like a pearl within the care of its shell

it is always, you said, in the eyes

and I reply

how then did you know

before you found me?

when we had not yet

beheld the other?

To which you reply;

I wrote it first

I prayed for you

I dreamed it before

then you were there

holding me in your lonely eyes

like a lighthouse shall

dim only long enough

to light another wick

and surely





for the one who I know in my heart

knows me in hers

because you are not a stranger

and you never were.

39 Replies to “Because you are not a stranger”

  1. I had a few lines I wanted to quote, but then it just kept getting better and better right up to the every end.

    The last four lines are truly amazing and inspirational. This is epic, Candice.

  2. How do you always manage to pull me in, expose your depth and keep me securely tied into you until the very end? How I love your writing, dearest Candice!

  3. We do that with the other I think. Maybe part of the reason we are such fast friends. I for one could not imagine now, my world without your thoughts in them.

  4. An emotional enlightening poem, that had me reading the flowing words, warmly caressing me comfortably throughout.
    “like a pearl within the care of its shell
    it is always, you said, in the eyes”

  5. Has it been only the power and nakedness of your words that showed you to me as not a stranger? And, as here, they keep doing that. Such beauty!

  6. Everytime I think I’ve read your best, you write something like this. Words fail to describe your ability to paint life in poems. Transcendent❤️🖤

  7. For YOU to say this when I love your taste in writers, just makes me want to scream with happiness xo Don’t forget to PM me with any dates about being in SA please xo

  8. I want to bathe in your words. Until my fingers get pruney. Just wade in them. Beautiful!

  9. Beauty. It is not in the eye of the beholder. Even a blind being unable to blink would weep at this poem. Beauty is passion in its bare essence; it needs no reception to validate its strength. Beauty, Candice, pure and simple. Sacred, standing on its own.

  10. Simply a reflection of your polish, pride, and professionalism Candice.

    It’s an honor to read, and consume your verse.

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