Coming home to you

I remember you composing

music to the poems I wrote,

infusing them with more

emotion and turning red droplets

to crimson stains of expression,

you sat blissfully calm

and while you drifted with time,

your hands gracefully sliding

across the piano, each quaver,

crotchet and minim merging

with my iambs, anapaests and

trochees, I forgot to remember

the burn of the bruises and scars

my knuckles and wrists bore,

because beauty and love triumphed

and created a twilight far superior

to the pastel skies we retreated

into when the hands

of our disturbed

fathers clawed deep, stole our

hearts, and planted seeds of

abominations in the

soil of our souls,

watered each day by the tears

of an unforgettable,

undying trauma,

and how we wait

for the axe of

unadulterated affection

to slice the horrifying,

fruitless tree with thorns 

instead of leaves 

growing within, but

I guess even that wasn’t enough.

I watched those very

hands that played

grow stiff and the

face that absorbed

itself in our art grow stony.

I watched as you

lost even the crayon

world of yesterday and only saw

terror, uttering meaningless

neologisms now and then –

a clink and a clang, and finally

watched as they took you

to a pristine, drug den where

they false promised

you’d get better,

and though I visited, playing

your music and

reading new poems,

hoping innocently that you’d give

them a score, they told me

a month ago, that they found you

in a way that killed off all my hope,

and I didn’t attend your funeral,

because I knew that some

other pianist was going to play

your compositions.

I heard she

gave it ‘justice’ and

that your mother

hates me now, and as

I walked to the beach

this evening,

I jumped in and let

the waves crash against me

while I screamed, trying my best

to forget to remember us, and

get a hold of a life so fundamentally

decomposed.

6 responses to “Coming home to you”

    • This poem is mostly fictional except for some parts (i.e. the childhood trauma part but then again I’ve made my peace with my father). There are times when I choose to write about darker, serious themes as a way to cope with difficult actuality. Not to say I haven’t seen a lot of pain in my life, but I channel it into fictional pieces. I find directly addressing it hard because it dredges up anger and makes me relive everything. If you were moved by this piece, I’m grateful, and grief is a terrible thing. I hope writing can prove cathartic and help you move past the difficult memories and focus on the beautiful ones. Thank you for your comment. It meant a lot.

      • I made peace with my father before he died too. I’m glad you’re doing well.
        I also do write some fiction in first person. It’s a way of talking about it without talking about it?
        Writing is definitely cathartic. For a while during the lockdowns and everything I stopped being able to come up with the words. That’s much worse than just writing down the ugly stuff and getting it out.

        I hope that makes sense :). Basically it means I agree

      • Yup. Writing fiction in the first person is a way of talking about it without talking about it. Sometimes I wonder if I should write about my life using the second person as a way of distancing myself. But I’m scared it would sound accusatory and someone would think that I’m targeting them. I struggle with words these days. There was a time when the creative juices flowed and I could write and write. These days, it’s really hard. I read and it helps to a certain extent. There are times when I’m too exhausted to even read. Then I just listen to music and forget about creating something. So I understand when you say you get writer’s block. I went almost a whole year last year unable to write anything. I took photographs instead. I look at these prolific writers like Roth and Updike who came out with novel after novel and I wonder how they did it.

      • And Stephen King. He wrote his first novel in two weeks.
        Poems came out like breathing for about six years, then just stopped. I’m baffled.

        At the moment, I am going back to old pieces and cleaning up the parts that don’t sound like me.

        I have written about myself in third person, which feels cowardly but I kind of liked, like keeping a little secret.
        But writing about myself in second person is very intriguing, and honestly kind of scary. Like looking into a mirror. I might try that sometime

      • Yeah bestselling authors like Stephen King seem to be fountains of creativity. I think they dream up a plot every night. A writer who fascinates me is John Updike. He not only came up with good plots, but wrote very lyrically. Long, descriptive, metaphorical sentences. And he wrote many books. I’m thinking of quitting poetry for a while and moving towards prose. That way I can go on and on, fleshing out characters and not be constrained by word count, etc.

        One way to beat writer’s block is to write using meter and form. I write a poem using meter and rhyme when I just can’t write. My friend says one must simply write even when creativity doesn’t flow. I don’t like forcing out words, but maybe I’ll follow his advise and pen something…anything down.

        Writing in second person is quite a challenge but like you said, very intriguing. Writing about yourself in third person helps give your character more depth methinks.

        I drink copious amounts of caffeine, hoping the creative juices will flow, but they don’t. I too am editing and posting old pieces. Some very old ones are riddled with mistakes lol.

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