February 18, 2021

I don’t remember living without this doubt.

Confidence was suspicious,

like the shadows of dark streets that I never dared wander.

Certainty was the friend I watched others get to know,

wondering if she would happen to notice me by accident.

I don’t remember living without walls around my bedroom and thoughts.

My childhood door didn’t have a lock, so I tried to make one—

but ended up settling for one around my heart.

My dresser drawers still hold the loose screws.


I don’t remember living without the ache to hide,

the urge to escape,

the compulsive comparison of my daily reality

to the world that I wandered behind blank eyes.

I don’t remember living and not pining for the forest.

When I was younger, the yearning used to rise in my throat

like the first coffee I’d tasted and hated,

and the only thing that helped me swallow it

was climbing the branches that led to my imaginary friend.


I don’t remember watching myself grow up.

I don’t chase certainty like I used to,

but I don’t know doubt as intimately these days.

I’d forgotten about my friend in the trees

until I wrote that she was imaginary.

I don’t remember the day I started using progress

as a defining term for my life, but I remember the day that poetry

went from secrets between notebook pages

to an open journal of scattered lines, and now that I’m here,

I wouldn’t draw a difference between the two.


I don’t remember getting older, but here I am,

with nothing in my hands, no confidence in my core—

but no hiding in my heart and no doubt in my mind.

I don’t remember letting go of imaginary friends,

or when coffee became a piece of my morning pattern.

But I remember noticing that I didn’t have a lock anymore,

and I wasn’t sure how long it had been gone.

I remember looking back at how far I’ve come,

and wondering if my friend in the trees was Certainty herself all along.


  1. Graham Jackson

    Such an honest and poignant poem! It’s so lovely how the reader enters the poem with loose screws…and leaves the poem with the screws finding their place. Comforting.

    • Cindy Green

      Thank you, Graham! I appreciate your input and advice with all of these so much. 🙂

  2. Jenny Chasteen

    EVERY TIME you publish a poem here, it completely resonates with me. I don’t want to miss a single one! 🙂

    • Cindy Green

      I’m so glad they can resonate with you! Thanks for reading 🙂

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