‘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 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.
I enjoy the description of “putting shadows into sentences.” I understand the concept and think it’s wonderful. I really liked this piece.
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,”
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
Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
A poem from Carol Forrester and another unique take on the prompt. Enjoy!
So glad you like the poem. 😀
I did. I’m so honored that you shared your talent. 🙂
You hit a home run with your wonderful write for this prompt.
Thank you. That’s really encouraging to hear
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.
Thank you Bette. I’m glad I could surprise and the poem packed a punch for you. 🙂
This is a powerful poem, with layers of subtle messages. Loved your choice of words. Well done!
Perfect balance of poetry and speculative fiction. I loved it.
Thank you Chelsea. I’m really glad you like it.
This is absolutely powerful. I want to read it over again.
A comment that every poet loved to read.
What you’ve not said but implied is as powerful as what you did say…(if that makes sense.) Spot on! x
Makes perfect sense. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 😀
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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.
Thank you Ellen. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem and that it had such an impact on you.