I breathe
Listening to the words
In my aching chest of wingless birds
They say
I am afraid
Today I woke and prayed
For a better day
And it didn’t come, though I heard the horses
They were galloping fast, they did not stop
How momma? Do we stay grateful? For every given hour of precious breath?
When scythe of hurt cuts so well and wraps the days away in little vials of hell
How to live in the present, when presently is torture, crushing her toes on pointe?
I try momma, I break the fine bones in my hands in supplicate, my arms making sundials on wanting earth
I ask my toy penguin
He eyes me with the same glass eye he has been using since I was little and he saw me break
And turn to seed and grow back into a girl who recognized he was real
And I know if there were a flood
I’d save before myself, that glass eyed toy
He has seen my days in ways nobody else, could or would
Though he is stuffed and inert, also the witness to each tug of war, his little cloth heart
Beats like a stray moth against my window pane
He tells me to remember
Despair will pass
A bad day is not forever, and so in time we’ll learn to hold, tighter
The unbearable and it may turn, like shaken snow globe, upside-down, white obscuring foul
Some slow imperceptable change of season, a sign, the very beginning starts with one
If he could speak and he does
He’d tell me to be brave and wear my best dress for the clouds cannot and will not persist
Take comfort in those smallest things
It could be one minute in an hours slow turn of hand
It could be one moment out of three weeks broken by tired cries
I am on my knees
I long for peace
And the quiet of memory reminds me
You have been here again and again
You have risen to answer the entreaty of a heart still beating
Longing to be released from her sentence
And if you look closely
There is still
A desire to overcome with the wish of a river to capture rain
Stronger than anything you’ve ever experienced, my penguin knew before myself
He is who I’d save, if the world exploded into flames, curling value to cinder
I am reminded of what I can feel by his capacity to shake, my despair out of her plan
To hang by tree and catch late afternoons air, as dead as last night’s terror
And I stroke his face
Wishing with everything that stuffs and fills to become me
To be free to laugh again
I promise him
To be that girl again

42 Replies to “To be that girl again”

  1. I used to have a stuffed animal that served a similar purpose for me.. many times I wished I would have kept it .. your poems and friendship often serve me well .. xx

  2. Your poetry is one epiphany, after another – thank you. You hit so many proverbial nails on their heads. Brilliant, truthful and full of meaning & heart, look forward to your posts πŸ™‚

  3. I was near tears here:
    “I ask my toy penguin
    He eyes me with the same glass eye he has been using since I was little and he saw me break
    And turn to seed and grow back into a girl who recognized he was real
    And I know if there were a flood
    I’d save before myself, that glass eyed toy
    He has seen my days in ways nobody else, could or would
    Though he is stuffed and inert, also the witness to each tug of war, his little cloth heart
    Beats like a stray moth against my window pane
    He tells me to remember
    Despair will pass”
    And, it is the freezing rain and thinking about losing Jernee and if health will sustain for you and others suffering in their fits of personal terror. Your heart is in this. I doubt anyone could read it and not feel the twinge that hits the instant you mention the penguin.

  4. It came after our conversation of the other day. Somehow, we will all get through, maybe by being kind with one another we’ll be able to in a way we could not if alone. Jernee is much like her best friend Tre, she’s a tough little ball of fire, very little has the power to quench her.

  5. Flip that and put it on you. You’ve batted down other things… somehow, I know this thing will get swatted too. πŸ’™

  6. Oh my, my, my. Such a tug of war between the deep deep pain we truly feel and imported ideas of how we need to ‘rise above’ or ‘get beyond’ or just… just… lost for words <3 This was difficult to read toward the end I think it needs to be read many times to fully absorb all it contains. Hugs sweet friend.. its such a painful journey. <3

  7. Out of suffering comes so much eloquent, poignant, beautiful poetry. When a minute can seem like an eternity we come to know our deepest self. This you’re doing, and I’m in awe of your strength and the depth of your poetry, and what your beloved toy penguin means to you. It too represents eternity.
    I truly empathize and resonate, Candice. Suffering wrings us out into something ever more beautiful. Sending you hugs, as always. πŸ’•πŸ’ž

  8. Good for you. You keep making that promise. That girl is still alive! She is veiled by pain and sorrow, but she is alive. Talk to her, feed her, nurture her by asking what she’d like to do today and then do it.You can do this my beautiful and fine friend. Love and hugs, Natalie πŸ™‚ <3

  9. Not sure what’s more heartfelt for me…reading your beautifully written poem, or reading the thoughtful & beautiful reactions your writing elicits from your friends. Hugs C <3

Comments are closed.