Unspoken 

Gird the heart and dull the tongue
so these vivid feelings we breathe –
like living though memories awakened –
don’t spurn hurtful words
delivered without thinking
driven by grief and bittersweet heart-strokes
(loss and love and, after all, just life)
and the uneven terrain of our perceptions.
Thoughts of places now disappeared
of people no longer here (seen but in dreams)
these memories haunt us when we gather,
like ribbons, their voices, faces, unfurl
and curl into the spaces between us
we look through them to find each other
reach through them when we try
to clasp hands, to seek familial warmth;
they are with us and yet far
we never cease to conjure them into our midst.

This life feels precarious
but precious
as we grasp each other
afraid to let go
yet ready to run
from the emotions
that ebb and flow and
crash each time
upon our souls.

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4 thoughts on “Unspoken 

  1. This is amazing–“the uneven terrain of our perceptions.” Honest, thoughtful, also care-full look at families, what it means as we get older, relationships changing and some loved ones are no longer there. I’m afraid I’m the one “ready to run/from the emotions” (and even though it’s true, it hurt me when my mother actually said it aloud!). The sound and sense of these lines is especially beautiful:

    like ribbons, their voices, faces, unfurl
    and curl into the spaces between us
    we look through them to find each other
    reach through them when we try
    to clasp hands

    • The perceptions line – I can’t tell you how long I worked on that! Rewording, moving it. I’m glad I managed to communicate that strange sensation of everyone remembering things differently. Some of the poem is how I really feel – bittersweet memories – and came to me as I passed the neighbourhood where my grandparents’ house used to be. Some of it is my imagination exploring the ways that families might relate to each other in the most sensitive of situations.

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