Poetry TUESDAY at Writers Island!

Today marks the opening of Writers Island, with this week’s prompt and open Tuesday post. I haven’t been yet to read the contributions, but I’m sure they’ll be lovely and inspiring. I can’t wait! In the meantime, here’s my poesy for the week.

My Imaginary Life

This life is witnessed
by a young mother with twin girls in a stroller
not noticing as she crosses my path,
by a tired man who tries to be cheerful
as he greets each shopper who enters
and I smile and try to catch his eye
but he looks down at the floor before I succeed
and then back up at the next customer’s mouth.
To him, I am one more body, one more mouth,
one more person who might set off the alarm,
and my smile and good morning mean nothing.This life is witnessed
by a secretary at the front desk
smiling and saying hello when I arrive at the office,
by an manager who stops by to ask how I’m doing
but does not stay to hear more than
fine, how are you
before she shuffles back to her desk.
To her, I am one more employee, one more coworker,
one more person who might penetrate the veneer
that covers the eyes and the lips
so they say nothing.

This life is witnessed
by a friend who knows me, more or less,
calling when something exciting happens in his life,
by a cousin who emails from far away
and knows more about my life than most
but at the end of her email, has moved on to something real.
To her, I am one more address book entry,
one more person who lives inside her computer
but whose physical presence and reality are nothing.

This life is witnessed
by a boy and a girl that I gave birth to
wrestling with adolescence and middle school,
by a man who does not understand me
thinking of me as an extension of his body, his mind,
To him, it is inconceivable
that I have my own body, my own mind,
because separate from him
I am nothing.

This life is witnessed
by a frightened girl hearing her parents argue
by a lonely teen dreaming about love
by a young woman learning what she might one day be
by a mother discovering who she is.
To them, this life has a shape and a colour
but does not often make sense
as it flows past them into the future.

Just like the twins’ mom, the greeter,
the secretary, the manager,
the friend, the cousin,
the children, the spouse,
these women do not see everything
and certainly do not know everything.
Somewhere in the middle of all of them
I see the nothing that is me
and want to make something
like the Creator, who made everything from nothing –
and so I sit
and I write
and I ponder
my imaginary life.


15 thoughts on “Poetry TUESDAY at Writers Island!

  1. Your words gave me chills, as if a door opened… and I could walk through… if I would but take one step… very powerful and beautiful. Thank you…


  2. These are powerful words. I hope that even if others don’t attempt to see the real you, you know and understand your own worth and merit.


  3. Thank you all for your kind comments! In response to Paris Parfait, I am (most of the time) able to see my own worth, rather than what is reflected in the eyes of those around me. This piece came from the growth and struggle to get to that point – a great deal of which happened this year.

    I was really struck by the writing prompt. When I read my imaginary life, the image that immediately came to me was how my life is imagined by all the people I come into contact with, and how this is similar to and different from how I imagine my own life to be.

    Hope y’all have a great Tuesday – I’m looking forward to next week!

    Blessings and hugs,


  4. And there are many You’s…milling about their day…wondering if the rest of the world gives a damn, or if they are even seen by the world. Maybe if we escape outside of ourselves for a day, we would grasp the true colours that comprise this existence. To be wrapped up in our own heads is a prison sentence. May that man who thinks she is an extension of his body, soon come to realize that she is a very real, and very separate human being.


  5. Hi Hedwyg! Wow — your poem really struck me. There was sadness in it, but also a sense of power and clarity and understanding. Great depth — well done!!


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