June 4, 2020

Sometimes poetry stumbles.
I think you can tell
because of the way this began—
not quite poetic,
more like strings of consciousness
tangled together like Christmas lights,
the only exception being
that I don’t like Christmas lights.
They don’t feel cozy like they used to,
and a tangle of messy minds and lines
is closer to home
than blinking colors that scream,
“Look at how pretty I am”
with a confidence I know I’ll never taste.
But as clumsy as I started,
I didn’t start
because I wanted to write about the uncomfortable.
And I didn’t stop
because I saw the word chosen somewhere important,
and something important inside me
knew who it was speaking to
and wanted to scream it into the heart
of the most important part of me.
I’ve always been frightened by important words,
because I didn’t know if they could be mine.
I keep talking about what is comfortable,
uncomfortable, and comfortable again,
because it is comfortable to write
words in the ways that I know how.
But if I take one step back and look
at them, a tangled string
hanging down
one line after the other,
comfortable doesn’t fit the puzzle anymore.
It’s comfortable to say
that no important word was meant for me
(even if it were written
on a living, breathing page),
and yes, it might be comfortable
to say I’d rather be lonely than loved,
and I’d rather be unnoticed than chosen—
but in no sense would it be true.
It might not be comfortable
to place complete trust in Someone else,
but I’d rather forget the uncomfortable.
I’d rather believe
that the important word is mine
and scream it into my heart—
the most important part of me.
So here is my truth,
in a tidy string of consciousness:
Here is my safety,
in a tangled string of blinking colors,
“Look at how loved I am”
with a confidence to eclipse the Christmas lights.


  1. P.K

    Wow! Awesome poem, Cindy! That’s a truth I must be reminded of, too. 🙂


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