Seven years

Seven years I let myself formulate excuses

not to return

and on the eighth

guilt had made her way into my closed heart

laying a light ribbon on the frayed part


going back was like being reborn

as yourself and not yourself at all

I walked familiar streets, spoke similar words

accent hardly altered

as if no time had passed

and so they said

you look exactly the same

though they were changed and I were changed

all altered irrevocably with time worn stain

as if glass no longer could be relied upon

to give accurately our real prescription

even friends were foreign handed

or I no longer of that land

left behind when things were too sad

I sealed the bottle and set adrift

seven years of absence builds

many barnacles to anyone’s vision

when the damned see the truth

the liars remove their seaweed masks

curtsy finely and pronounce

we did our part

exit stage left

standing on warm boards of the theater of pretend

where dance and energy has dissipated

into cloven wings

hear me now

shadows of my past

the girl with the big smile

her perfect fine figured mouth

and matching dragon tooth skirt

as if we dressed together in the darkness

of one another

except she is a mother and

I have a cut-out womb ebbing in formaldyade

don’t worry I feel no pain now

some of us are bearly hanging on

what good would a child of weakness

bring the sorrow further inland?

I miss her

like I write letters in wax to myself

those over easy days we knew who we were

or felt … some approximation of reality

good enough for then

when she looked at me

unequal teeth smiling and needing

how did the splinter drive that deeply?

wedge like sword between this time and before?

we know nothing of the other

as a blue bottle

cast on green and yellow water

will wait

seven years

to reach shore

when I climbed out and dusted myself off

she was gone

her footprints erased from the sand

nobody recognized me

only the echoes of an angry sea

calling me back to exile


you do not belong here 

and the white cliffs looked relieved

when I flew overhead

my heart aching with loss

the cheer of relief

like a season

changing from golden red to



38 thoughts on “Seven years

  1. Dear One, I just got back from that exact emotion so I totally hear you, and I know it’s really hard to put it into words or explain to others, what you are feeling, so you feel even more alone. Just know, you are not alone, others understand a little of this and it’s a sign you care (or did once) and going back is HARD! I wish for better days ahead for you my friend. This will pass.

  2. Thank you so much! I keep telling myself it will pass, it’s always so hard to believe when you’re in the middle! So it was perfect for you to reiterate my thoughts in such a beautiful way. 💐 I hope you’re okay too!

  3. That’s what friends are for. I forget this sometimes because I have had some negative experiences but for the most part I believe in friendship especially when two like minded souls have things in common xo

  4. Will read and read again and again! Single lines take my breath away. I need the space between the lines to meditate on your powerful, beautiful, and heart touching writing! Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts!

  5. This is so filled with pain of parting… there are times I wonder too of what happened in the past, who did what… sometimes it’s like travelling without a map, and when you find something familiar it looks exactly the same, yet it’s all different.

  6. Ah my friend, you are so right I especially like the part about ‘traveling without a map’ as I think this is so true and very much the journey of emotions as well as physical journey. Thank you so much my friend for reading. You know I really cherish your writing. I hope New Year 2017 is being good to you. xo

  7. I feel your pain Candice.. in every line, its etched out like a deep grove forever dug out like a name calved in a tree.. It may fade as time and the weather do its work.. But its still there growing further up the tree each year a little higher to reach.. But still embedded..
    Love and Blessings dear Candice.. Sending love for 2017..
    Sue ❤

  8. Brilliant piece of writing, fluid and full of fine phrases, and really nails the experience of time passing and the changes it brings in one’s identity.

  9. “we know nothing of the other

    as a blue bottle

    cast on green and yellow water

    will wait”


  10. Enjoyed this poem. It reminds me of Miranda Lambert’s song, The House that Built Me!
    Aging is a nasty critter at times that has to be made a friend since there is no other choice that keeps our feet on the ground! I liked all of your poems today.

  11. Beautiful girl, I must say, ‘grief is suckling’ is a great line, but you are a great writer, and it’s one of many reasons you are so lovely. If you want to feel hopeful today – google Joan Baez 75th concert where she sings with others – it’s so life affirming it will lift you my girl xo

  12. Oh I love that song! What a compliment! I must now listen! If you have a chance, watch Joan Baez 75th anniversary show where she sings with others, it’s so lovely. xo Thank you Dwight

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