an empty shadow

lessons never learned.

no one wants to hear your heart.

it’s too messy to have emotion


like chipping paint on wicker rocker.

flake by flake floating to earth,

leaving raw wood exposed

for rain to rot

and wind to ruin,

even sun to bake and crack.

no one wants to hear your flakey heart,

but still I never learn

and with bristle brush chip away

what needs to be sloughed.

exfoliating of uncertainty and

shedding of self consciousness, it is

with raw vulnerability I share

and stare

at an empty shadow.



a touch of the brush down the scalp

with each tug and knot worked out

a wince and whimper

but that didn’t stop our morning routine

hair pony tailed or braided before

teeth brushed and scooted to the car

no buckle like today

bouncing and bobbing in the back

or snuck in the middle between you two

shoes don’t hit the floor so on my knees

dress neat and hair tidy

and I say goodbye

everyday the same routine

everyday the same sorrow

sweet sorrow

slipping steadily down the slide

sorrow waits for me at the bottom

welcoming her into my fold

I know there is no other way

she comes 

we play 

chase among the wood chips,

hanging on the monkey bars,

riding on the see-saw,

swinging side by side

until it’s time for her to go

but one thing I know

she always returns 

and I can’t out run her

so instead

I ask her to play


she lost herself under covers

didn’t want to come out

it was too cold out there

wet from pouring rain

creating floods of dirty water

not even rain boots could wade

blanket wrapped between thighs,

around back, under chin

cinched tight

just like mother used to do

she tugged it above her nose

just eyes peeked out

all day

she stayed like that

losing her spark in cotton sheets

until nothing left

empty bed

flat sheet flat

hospital corners tucked tight

not a lump or bump of her

left under the duvet


and then the rain stopped.