Tag Archives: Letting Go

Sifting Time



Version 3

Sifting Time

Suspended between her life and her death,
she measures the intervals from breath to breath,
noting the bed cover’s sinking and lift,
wondering when life will set her adrift.

After a lifetime of effortless health,
she is surprised by the contrasting stealth
and the strength of the grip of what waits at her ending,
no matter what care friends may take in her tending.

As the sands of her life escape through her fingers,
she treasures each grain that stubbornly lingers.
She cannot give up. She has to hold on
until the last grain is fallen and gone.

All of those pleasures that cling to her past
are pleasures now gone. Such pleasures don’t last.
Her life like a book, pages grown stiff with age—
it grows harder and harder to turn the next page.

Her life has turned gritty––a pain and a pleasure.
Each grain that remains both a curse and a treasure.
Afraid to give up what she has for what’s next,
she can’t see the ending. She can’t read the text.

There is no escape and there isn’t a cure,
and though every day goes by in a blur,
yet these last scraps of life still act as a lure
not to give up on life. To simply endure.

The prompt today is curiously similar to yesterday’s.  It is “adrift.”

We Cannot Surrender Her


We Cannot Surrender Her

 Try as I might, she will not go.
She sends me on to test the water
but remains on the shore.
Ankle deep and then no more.
Fingers trailing and then no more.
Having once found a false bottom,
she trusts no foothold.

The falling is the thing, I tell her,
yet she holds back from the fall.
Let me always be the one going down, I tell her.
I will always be the one bringing you up, she answers.
This is the role we alternate being the stand-in for.
What I want she keeps me from.
What she fears I pull her toward.

 Relax, I tell her,
but she fears what relaxation brings.
She cannot surrender herself.
I cannot be content until she does.
Twin sisters, we rail against each other, then hold hands.
Comforting. This is enough, she tells me.
Nothing is ever enough, I tell her.

This poem, written in yesterday’s session, loosely meets the prompt. It is about going places––that part of one’s self that wants to let go and that part that fears risk and needs to maintain safe control.




Written in the morning, long before the day
sneaks in like an intruder, intent to have its say,
words born in the nighttime flower on their own,
bursting into bloom as soon as seeds are sown.

Truth is there behind us before it ever shows—
in words before they’re spoken, in wind before it blows.
Once recognized, I free these words to flow over the world—
off on their own to have a life wherever they’re unfurled.

Sent swiftly to their different spheres to live a life apart
from one who followed after, like a horse without its cart—
I like to set my words loose to canter on their own,
to feed upon wild grass that also roots where it has blown.

The Prompt: After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?