underwater photography of woman
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The pool reflects deep with shallows, an opaque pearl

she has always been beautiful, even now, even then,

she dives without concern, because, what else can happen?

When people die, that’s how you feel, invulnerable in the face

of dreads previously unimagined

and also, terribly, terribly aware of pain.

Some hide the rest of their lives, others drive fast cars at night

not wearing their glasses

she is one of those who stands somewhere in-between

the grief of injury lies heavy on her dark shoulders

still, she plunges into water, imagining other realities

one where she never knew horror and horror never knew her

where babies were born perfect and whole

husbands did not get crushed in half and

soured settlements buys them luxury

they’d trade it all in, to have him whole

less angry, more able to be, swimming underwater with her.

not lost, broken even after healing, crushed despite being repaired

holding the welt of injury in his throat like a choking bird.

She has moved on from who she was

ten years ago in Africa

under the sun, hiding from herself, hiding from kaleidoscopic future

it has come, blooming wild and spreading its green fingers

into her oval mouth

she has no time for passion anymore

she has no patience for imagination

she can only swim

cutting through the reluctant weight of water

like a blunt knife will eventually carve

the true price of things.

 

for Em.

 

0 Replies to “The true price of things”

  1. WOW. So touching, heartbreaking and evocative. This is a powerful piece! I will be reading this again and again. It’s amazing in each beautiful line that delves into these thoughts of grief and ideas of an alternate life, such as, “if this never happened, I’d be…” It’s truly tragic when one ruminates about this, and you explicate that in an intricate evocation of heart and mind. At the end, it seems that they can no longer dive into those thoughts or their imagination, thus they have to move on to let go of what happened. Truly, a brilliantly penned and tragic piece. This poem is THE best one I’ve read today on WordPress, and honestly, probably the best one this week.

  2. The entire poem is sheer perfection, but these lines:

    “it has come, blooming wild and spreading its green fingers

    into her oval mouth

    she has no time for passion anymore

    she has no patience for imagination

    she can only swim”

    Those truly make the poem. This is a great tribute piece, Candice.

  3. Injury or whatever kind of trauma
    Grief lives past healing or not healing
    Even when tears have dried
    When only the memory of pain remains
    Becomes that ocean in which
    The swimming fish knows not
    The meaning of “ocean”
    And just swims in “home”

      1. Memory is story, and we are our stories, and every day is a new blank page to write. It turns out that what I thought was a quote is actually a book title: Every Person’s Life Is Worth a Novel by Erving Polster

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