Monday 19 June 2023

I tried to talk

 It began with my fingernails.
The wrong colour, 
too yellow. Why is that?
The fake tan smelled strange. 
Stained the sheets.
Didn't matter
about the melanoma that took him away
We should fix that.
"A rose surrounded by weeds" he said
"and I am helping to trim them"
I felt every cut.

I looked prettier with my hair tied back, 
he said. I told him
it made me feel unfamiliar to myself
brought back memories of 
seeing my reflection, patchy
I couldn't tell whether feeling unlovable
was still part of the process
I should get used to the feeling

I expressed concern over my boundaries
the breaches crashed like waves, 
constant, overwhelming.
Said I was too friendly, that I wouldn't
be respected if I kept that up
But I don't think silence suits me
any more than the ponytail.

The house needed to be rearranged
My furniture was wrong, the layout 
inefficient. There was no room for him
The cat took up too much of the bed
I tried to talk
I tried to talk
I tried to talk
about all this. 

I say no too much, he says. 
I say yes too much, he says.
I am stubborn, unmoving, unwilling 
but I subjugate, step back, shrink
away, I don't
grow towards his light
"Can't you see this is what you need?
That this is what will help?
I can't make you love me.
You don't trust me."

I tried to talk.
The cat died. I cried 
quietly on the bed.
A day later, it was too much
An overreaction, grief expelled incorrectly
A cork thrown at my head
While I fell asleep, exhausted
I sank into the blue.
The energy to fight left the room
but still, I tried to talk.

We tried again. 
I tried again.
I tried and tried to talk.
So now,
when I close the door,
when I choose to walk
I will be know in my heart,
that I tried to talk.

Saturday 1 September 2018

A Summer's Dream

I am wearing a white dress
and running through the garden

there are
no wedding bells, the silence is filled
with joy

you watch on
you know this is no more than a dream
dispersing and transient like all other dreams
you reach out to touch it anyway

I reach out to hold you back
golden light surrounds our bodies
simple, sweet

It is only a dream
of mine,
of yours
a summer in the garden
me, in a white dress
you, there
like watching was all that was left
for us
to live for

(I bought the white dress,
but you were gone
before it arrived
I never went back to the garden
you were gone
before summer came
I still reach out sometimes
to touch you
it is only a dream
of mine
and I am still watching
like watching is all that is left
to live for)

Tuesday 5 June 2018

grieving with those who have not grieved

This is not a performance
To be witnessed
I must go
To those who understand, the flowers 
Sit with me patiently, strewing 
Their scents and offering up
Their stained blush cheeks
For gentle stroking
I, too, need to be caressed 
Kept company
Not be questioned, I do not want to analyse 
or understand
My only wish to unpetal
And sit, empty
Alone with all the others.

Friday 9 March 2018

White Cat, Green Eyes

The day you left, the world turned white
like you, like snow
it comes,
you go
and so do I.
Best friend.
My ankles are so cold.
I was told
that letting go
it was the kindest thing to do
but it didn't come close
to loving you
and your green eyes
and your furry thighs
and my heart sighs

I miss you.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

A couple of years ago I was neck-deep in a really special time of my life, and I was incredibly aware of it... I would be brought to tears most days with how precious and fleeting this time in particular was, knowing soon it would be gone, along with someone I cared for very much.
I was living each day through some sort of nostalgic lens, as though I had been given an opportunity to go back in time to really notice everything and pay attention; knowing that one day I'd give everything to be able experience it all again.
One thing I always got totally swept away by was the sounds of sirens coming and fading outside my window. No matter what I was doing, I would stop, put down my things and totally lose myself in them.
For a long time since that time ended, I've heard sirens and felt nothing... A few minutes ago, some went past, and my heart just broke out into something, not sure what yet, but I was listening to this song while it happened, and just felt rather overcome and just wanted to tell about it. 🖐️
It reminded me of this life advice from Mary Oliver.
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind, and much can never be redeemed. But still, life has some possibility left. Give into it. Joy is not made to be a crumb."

Friday 26 January 2018

Magpie on a Blue Sky

I saw a magpie, stoic
on a bare branch against a blue canvas
watching the world move beneath him

he did not flinch
and nor did I
at the thought of loss he might
be hiding in his dark beak

one, for sorrow

I couldn't help but feel the breeze
and the gentle weightlessness of fear

it does not hold me,


Monday 1 January 2018

This year is the hardest year of your whole life.
So hard you cannot see a future most days. The pain is bigger than anything else.  Takes up the whole horizon no matter where you are.   You feel unsafe. You feel unsaved. Your past so present you can feel your baby teeth. Sitting on the couch, you swear your feet don’t reach the floor. You keep remembering the first time  you saw a bird’s nest held together by an old shoe lace  and the scraps of a plastic bag. You knew the home of a person  could be built like that. A lot of things you’d rather throw away.    You keep worrying you’re taking up too much space. I wish you’d let yourself be the Milky Way.   Remember when I told you  I was gonna become a full-time poet, and you paid my rent for three years? Best Friend, angel of the get-through, all living is storm chasing. Every good heart has lost its roof. Let all the walls collapse at your feet. Scream Timber when they ask you  how you are.  FINE is the suckiest answer. It is the opposite of HERE. Here is the only place left on the map. Here is where you learn laughter can go extinct and come back. I am already building a museum for every treasure you unearth in the rock  bottom.  Holy vulnerable cliff. God mason, heart heavier than all the bricks. Say, this is what the pain made of you: an open open open road.  An avalanche of feel it all. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you are too much. Or  it has been too long. Whatever guards the feet on the bridge of the song, you are made of that thing. That unbreakable note. That photograph  of you at five-years old. The year you ran away from school because you wanted to go home. You are almost there. You are the same compass you have always been. You are the same friend who never left my side  during my worst year. You caught every tantrum I threw with your bare hands, chucked it back  at the blood moon, said, It’s ok.  Everyone’s survival  looks a little bit like death sometimes.  I wrote a poem called “Say Yes”  while I was cursing your name  for not letting me go.  Best friend, this is what we do.  We gather each other up.  We say, The cup is half  yours and half mine. We say,  Alone is the last place you will ever be.  We say, Tonight let’s stay inside  reading Pema Chödrön while everyone else is out on the town. Pema will say, “Only to the degree that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” You’ll say, Pema is so wise. And I’ll say, Yes she is, And we are too. Angels of the get-through.  

- Andrea Gibson