broken mirror reflection  

what happens
when you hear the news

and find yourself gazing
in underwater slow motion
at all that up to this point
was your life.

The verandah you spent the day
inexplicably painting green,
the doll's house
carefully constructed
in the childhood room,
the vase placed
just so
to welcome him home,
the treacherous photographs
lining the fairytale hall

roll gently
in waves
and send ripples out into the future
so that it instantly -
rearranges itself,
and what was to be
is now not.

Still. So still. Clear. Cruel. Dazzling.

All pierced by a
screaming voice (mine I think)
a crying child (ours).
She's tugging my leg trying
desperately to pull me
through the doorway
of her already fractured
childhood before it 
snaps shut.

(Oh sweetheart, I wish
if only for you,
that I could rewind
and keep playing my part,
but it's gone, you see,
there's nothing left to return to
because it was never there,
it was a lie.)

Then in the background I hear
a whimper (that's you)
the sound funneling me back into
the - now of your face -
pale and quivering,
like a mollusc without its shell.

you stand,
your truth pried open before me,
waiting for the knife of my rage to cut -
and in a moment of horrifying clarity
I realize that you have been shucked!

Your exposure is indecent
(and somehow brave)
you burn in the light of my gaze
and are finally free.
(It is only much later
I dare to consider
that perhaps,
so are we.)

so as not to perpetuate harm,
I take her small hand
and we tip-toe away,
abandoning the spent husks
of past selves behind us,
trailing all our dark painful
roots along with us
like bloody testaments
to these stillborn lives
as we pull further,
further, further,
still pulling

36 thoughts on “Abandon

  1. Dear Michele, this reads like a terrible tragedy has hit you. I daren’t say more in case I’m reading too much into these lines, which read so vividly and clearly to me- a place where I’ve been too.
    Whatever has happened I want you to know that my heart is with you XXXXX

    • Dear Valerie, a terrible thing thing did indeed happen, but a good 10 years ago! This was written based on that memory, but I am now very happily re-partnered, and think, in retrospect, that I was very lucky to have found out sooner, rather than later! It is such a terrible shock at the time, isn’t it? Sorry to hear you went through the same, but I’m sure you feel the same. Thanks for your love and concern X

      Sent from my iPad

  2. “My quest is to understand and explore the often dark, sometimes blissful, always intriguing “inner world” of the mind and to express this through my writing…” You are a master Michele. “I realize that you have been shucked!” What a line!! The entire piece captures and suspends that moment when a meteor slams through the ceiling of flesh, bone and heart and everything, everything is forever changed. Brilliantly written. Spoken by one who has been there. I WAS SO GLAD TO HEAR THIS WAS A GOOD 10 YEARS AGO!

    • Thanks so much Chris, I’m glad the poem touched you. I’m also glad it was 10 years ago! I think that experience was the best of my life so far for personal development, but it wasn’t very pleasant at the time. It’s taken a long time to write about it!

      Sent from my iPad

  3. The darker recesses of our lives contain much to write about, just as do the brighter moments, and the changes along the way. Love how you have woven the voice/s above. Have you ever looked to convert one of your poems into a short play? If I’ve asked this question before, please forgive. The world in here gets a little busy to keep track of at times.

    • Hi Sean,

      Interesting idea! At the moment poetry is my writing form of choice because I have 3 kids and little time, so I’m able to carry my poems round in my head and tinker with them while washing dishes etc! Are plays something you are interested in writing?

      Sent from my iPad

      • I’ve pondered about short plays for few years now, ever since attending the local Short & Sweet Festival, which is a festival of plays that are 10 minutes or less (that seems to be getting around the globe). Started out in Sydney from memory.

  4. Hello Friend! This one really riveted me and was relentless in its violent vulnerability. You do not shy away from the pain–Bravo! It helps the reader trust you more. In a wiered way–or should I say strange–I felt like i was transported into an alternate verse of The Walrus and the Carpenter. That may sound odd, but I mean it as high praise. Hope you are well.


    • Hi Michael. Curiouser and curiouser! The Walrus and the Carpenter huh? I’ll have to re-read that amazing poem and see if I can get the connection. ‘Violent vulnerability’ – what a great phrase! Thanks for your always awesome comments. 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

  5. It was so beautifully and emotionally written my eyes were watering, It is never a good thing to happen but still it is in your mind and coming back now and then! I pray you do not have to ever go through that again as it is so heart wrenching and tears apart the fabric of heart and soul! My spirit and heart prays that an great abundance of healing comes your way each to heal the wounds! Always wIth you in spirit, and prayerfully embracing you and your family Michele! God bless! It is an awesome poem in spite of what happened!

    • Thank you so much Wendell, for all your love and kind wishes. Although it was a difficult experience, it was also very valuable – pain is a great teacher, and helps you to open your heart more to others I think. Take care.

      Sent from my iPad

  6. Dear Michele,
    I often wondered, if words can carry an emotion, feeling or even a simple idea in the way that one feels it. Perhaps the test lies in when a reader feels one with you. I dare say that’s the difference between a good and great writer. Love your expression and salute your spirit for being able to pen down a painful situation. It does take a lot of courage. Best wishes.

    • Thanks so much, so kind of you to take the time to read and comment. I totally agree with you on that definition of great poetry – it not only expresses, but makes the reader experience ideas and emotions. That’s the goal I think.

  7. your diction is complex,your talent well articulated,i have not seen this kind of work in a long while. thank you.are you a good editor?,coz i am desperate for one.talk to me.

  8. God. This whole entire poem is so….I have no words. I felt like I was there at the moment of a family’s break. As if it were now, but inside, among them. Michele you are so extraordinary.

    Powerful writing, the emotion, sentiment and visuals strike out beyond the page.

    And I get it.


    • What an amazing compliment, that you felt as if you were there. ‘As if it were now’ ….that is exactly what I was trying to create here Tanyeno, that sense of time standing still in an eternal now, which you experience when something shocking happens. Are you sure you’re not a poetry critic in disguise? Thanks so much for reading, 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

      • Well that is great Michele because you did it. Totally.

        And I loved it. Hahaha. You know, creation of that experience is what I aim to do when directing. I love having experiences when reading, watching, whatever!

        And your poetry accomplishes it beautifully.

        Do they have poetry critics???? I didn’t even know that. Haha. 🙂

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