Something we used to be

When snowflakes melt

They melt from the outside, in

When people dissolve

They dissolve from the inside, out

You may not even know

That person standing next to you on the bus

Has nothing inside but icing

We are, after all, consummate sleepwalkers

And act, as if we wrap up everything, it will thaw

Even as the emptying of layers reveals it was 

Only shadow muffled

Something we used to be 

Before it became too hard

And the deception

Feels like a fickle lover, you can’t quit

A lung full of poisoning

A bed without dreamers

Only then the clock reveals

All its missing time

You spent putting bows on hollow boxes, with empty routines and unpolished shoes

When you could have been

Watching snow fall

Like a blanketed mirror of another world

Where you didn’t cut your finger on fears edge

And slip unconscious into hedging your bets

Where you found your long lost mittens and hat

Red against virgin snow, sledding almost vertical

We choose our closed doors with care

Would that we gave such attention to those standing slightly open

Offering a way to cut through resisting ice

Restoring wonderment 

42 thoughts on “Something we used to be

  1. I spend most mass transit rides wondering about the lives behind the masks that surround me.
    Happiness? Pain? Sadness?
    Who are they?
    These masks that surround me.
    You are unique in your abilities to pull these thoughts from me.

  2. To awaken from sleepwalking – that squelching of our spirit that begins in childhood – is our one quest. Thankfully we have the arts, poetry, good literature, to help us wake up just a little. Poetry like yours, Candice. ❤️💕

  3. I love this. How many times you realize the outside of a person is just a facade to hide the reality within. And written with such beauty!

  4. I enjoyed many of the images present in this piece, especially “consummate sleepwalkers”. Wintry imagery is never out of season! On a side note, that’s the cover of a book I’m currently reading, ‘The Snow Child’. Very fitting for this poem and the season 🙂

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