Ode to absentia

I have written enough about you to fill a slim volume

or maybe two ships

set sail for one of the countries you visit

sending me letters in the day, with marks and fingerprints from all around the world

they would smell

like you, even as that was impossible

and I prepared, as nobody ever can

for the day I would lose you

why not, you ask, appreciate the now, when you are here on earth?

I have, though, we have never spent our lives together or even entwined

I have been saying goodbye all these years

yet it will not be sufficient, it could never be enough

you are more of me, than myself

and I feel you inside even though you are not here now, and gone in the future

loving you has felt like continual loss and little gain

yet I do, more than anything else, for you are that kite, unmoored itself and got away

the thought that comes creeping up as you laugh, as if I had a twin, and yes, she was the one who grew in courage, living full in ways I knew only from books

you have the lifeline of twenty palms and though you could not be a mother, you have always inspired me, like the character from a favorite story

reaching near and never touching, someone marvelous and unable to approach

I live sometimes with my eyes seeing through yours

the waves of your life nearing but never reaching, shore

at some point there will be a day when you are not simply absent and not around the corner

but further then, impossible to mend, hands of time, spent longing

it may be my song to want and not receive, the beauty that is you, and your life as it cleaves

further away, until from a great distance I cannot distinquish, squinting until my eyes hurt and run

I would if I could, but I never have, and I won’t

it is the theatre of our lives to play out

my role is that of thirsty

yours to make ordinary seem


you are the giver of dreams

I shall always wish

for one more day where I see

your figure coming closer through the dusk

perhaps to stay a while, even if we do not touch

I long, in layers, not to lose, what I have, not.


30 thoughts on “Ode to absentia

  1. The feeling of loss and a yearning for renewal of self and a reconnection for what was lost and could be found is in every line. This… truly tears at the heart, Candice. It reads like today is a day to get it out.

    “I have been saying goodbye all these years

    yet it will not be sufficient, it could never be enough

    you are more of me, than myself

    and I feel you inside even though you are not here now, and gone in the future

    loving you has felt like continual loss and little gain”

    And the photo, a beautiful woman–amazing profile. ❤ I'd say it gets better with time, but perhaps, it does not.

  2. The photo is of the musician Dory Previn ( whom I adore) she always reminded me of my mom as a tiny kid I’d point at her lp covers and say it was my mom. Yes, I think because I’ve felt vulnerable of late due to the daily onslaught of this fiend illness, I’ve missed my family more than ever, even if they don’t exist in a tangible way. Thank you dear one. Thank you very much.

  3. So honest, tender and heart touching. If people don’t cry reading this they need to read it until they do! Beautiful and awemazing! Thank you!

  4. You’re most welcome. It makes sense for you to miss them–the connection while being in the grips of an illness can cause one to yearn for what has been missing for years. I am wishing you peace, you know that.

  5. Thank you. Because you help me just by existing and having a true heart of caring. Since we’ve been in touch it has lifted my spirits immeasureably. Thank you.

  6. You’re welcome & thank you jus the same. Be good to you. I sent you more pictures of the baby. Thought you could use a smile today.

  7. She sends my heart reeling. And, this one is of my nephew holding her. I cry when I look at it. I will see them both soon. Ha! That silly photo. Why you like it so much, I will never understand. LOL!

  8. I really do! It just made me indescribably happy almost punch drunk happy when I first saw it. I’m not even sure why but it’s just really seared itself onto my heart ( and the cuteness scales, where it holds its top position)

  9. Your words were beautifully reflective, powerfully emotional, full of desires of what we miss most. Again you’ve deeply touched the depths of my soul.

  10. Knowing what we know now in the aftermath of such an unforgettable someone or something, do you suppose that had we to live it over again, we would be able to change the outcome? Or will there always be haunted places inside our hearts and unhealable wounds? 🙂 ❤ xoxoxo

  11. Oh, this is so beautiful, touching and sad. It feels like you are reading my thoughts… both of my parents are nearing death and my brother has terminal cancer. I’m grieving the loss of them already, even though they are still here, all three living together in the house we grew up in. And it is of course, my grief is complicated by dysfunction. You are so talented at expressing what feels impossible to express! Love to you ❤

  12. You know what? When I was reading this, the thing that kept coming into my head was that you were writing to yourself, to the one that existed before The.Fiend that has you in its grip currently ….. xxxx

  13. Reminds me of a scene from”The New World” where Joseph Smith is speaking with Pocahontas upon his return after a long voyage and absence from her … she asks him if he found his passage to India, he looks deeply at her and says “perhaps I have sailed past my India” …

  14. You pulled my heart out of me. I just wrote my first poem for a man I met who wanted me to describe my first impression of him. Then I read this and thought, ok back to the drawing board. Love this.

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