Coming up for air

Coming-Up-For-Air-1-Alice-Wigley_2500When the moving vans took away a life

bundling it in storage, turning out fly swabbed light

when the house stood empty and of us, nothing remained

her death seemed to have resisted claim

yet she was no more there than mouse who leaves behind footprint and soft down of hair, gone beyond the floorboards

her family cleared out and dusted her remains, placed away in a china cabinet for someone

many years from now to produce a much touched pawn ticket, and re-varnish

she wondered

would they thrive without her?

in time, will her children recall the best of her?

or those days she stood tired and grumpy, keeping warm by the oven avoiding world’s bidding and invite

it was her shame

to waste so much time

if she had known she would have stepped from waxen kitchen like fire bird, gathered them in her arms and driven to the coast

to watch the rise and fall of life crashing on wave

and smell the turn of life, brimming with wet salt

she would have seen within her the burgeoning canker and cast it like a bottle of cobalt blue

out into the surrendering molt of waves, hoping it would lose itself and not return to erase her, premature and cruel

a reminder we are visitors

to this shore

not long in our stay

often missing our purpose, locked away in effort and grind, mowing lawns, picking up, wiping down, staring out into the immaculate disorder

she would have said to her children, take your shoes off, wriggle your toes in, feel the sand, the undone clasp, the undone movement

into life and laughter and sorrow, creating lines of wonder on our cheeks, run and run until your bird chest burns

scream into the sound

cover yourself with sun and never


come up for air


poetry by Candice Daquin, first published on Hijacked Amygdala

31 thoughts on “Coming up for air

  1. ha ha ha! I think you have totally SUMMED ME UP here! I really do. Never have I read something someone has written that struck so true. I am incapable of writing very uplifting things I have tried but I think I belong in the nightshade! Thank you my friend thank you

  2. Reminded me of Sylvia Plath, one of my favourite poets as I can relate so much to her; Minus the children as I have none nor can I have any – I can however relate to parting my own way, as it is necessary.

  3. You’re very welcome. It seemed appropriate. I think you can be uplifting, actually, because truth is uplifting.
    Thank you.

  4. Love this piece!! “scream into the sound” that evokes so many solid memories of being fully engaged and connected to fleeting powerful moments in this life.

  5. I love that answer. I do agree (is that egocentric to agree with oneself! ha ha!) because truth for me is uplifting. Lies are what upset me and bring me down, even beautiful lies.

  6. It is uplifting, because you can trust it.
    It’s not egocentric to agree with oneself, just truth.

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