Comments 27

An Ever-Changing Beast

‘We should really address the elephant in the room.’

Those were the words you tossed out over coffee,

like spare change or old candy wrappers,

bits of pieces you were bored with carrying around

and deposited on my living room table

between the books and the plant pots.

There didn’t seem to be much point explaining,

your elephant wasn’t in this room,

or hadn’t been until you kicked up dust clouds

into a grey silhouettes.

I kept my silence on the matter,

much like you had kept yours until now,

too cautious about the fall out,

about how you might have to hold me together

when all the pieces broke apart

and ran for the corners in the skirting,

white mice abandoning ship

at the first sign of storms.

I let you think you were the only one

holding out a hand,

while you explained why I was sad

and how it could all be fixed

if I tired hard enough

and put in the work.

You can learn how to listen to the some speeches

without really hearing them.

It’s the same trick you used each time I tried

to put shadows into sentences,

when the doors opened enough

that I could see you were there.

So I nodded

and I pretended

that all this helped me some,

and then I let you leave smiling like a hero

while I went back to face the storms.


Written as a response to Diana W Peach’s speculative fiction prompt. I was going to write a piece of flash fiction for the prompt of a short story, but this poem so of found its way out instead.

This entry was posted in: Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


  1. This is stunning, Carol. So rich with emotion, but shut down and stark at the same time. The disconnect is profound. Thanks so much for taking up the prompt and sharing this beautiful poem. ❤

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment. It was interesting how some of the imagery from the image suddenly started making sense when I started the poem.

      • The responses have been so different, and I’m enthralled with the variety. Yours came together wonderfully, Carol. I’m so glad you’re adding your talent to the mix. 🙂

        • I need to go and read the other responses. The internet went down yesterday and I’ve been at work today so I’ve not had much chance yet. It’s great to see so many people taking an interest though. Writing, especially poetry, is somewhat less daunting when you know someone out there is resonating with what you’ve put down on paper.

  2. I enjoy the description of “putting shadows into sentences.” I understand the concept and think it’s wonderful. I really liked this piece.

  3. Oooh this… this is like talking to my father. Not-listening to his platitutes,
    “It’s the same trick you used each time I tried

    to put shadows into sentences,”


    Well done.

    • Thanks you. I’m sorry to hear about your conversations with your father. Often the most frustrating part of depression is trying to explain it to those who’ve never had to suffer through it

  4. A personal and powerful response that surprised me. The raw emotions stand out and give rise to questions about our human relationships and concern for one another. Wonderful share, Carol.

  5. What you’ve not said but implied is as powerful as what you did say…(if that makes sense.) Spot on! x

  6. Pingback: I’m Getting Too Old for This II – The Stories People Tell

  7. Pingback: February Speculative Fiction Round-Up | Myths of the Mirror

  8. Raw emotion filled poetry that makes the reader think and take stock. You should be proud of this one. A gem in the grains of sand.

Please take the time to tell me what you think, I love receiving feedback. :)

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