This Life

Thank you to Sarah for this “Selfie” dVerse prompt. Writing lately for me comes and goes, so it’s brilliant when something actually sparks inside of me.

I didn’t choose a photo but a song for this post. I’m trying to remember to be a smiler…look on the bright side.

This Life

Recently I unearthed photos
as you do when life’s bounty
explodes, needing containment,
(or discarding)
discovering for the most part
I’ve been a smiler, laugher--
pictures never find you pensive
sad, except for one, where I held a striped bass
on a fishing line, me: red faced, tears streaming--
we let the bass go. And from nine to now:
that’s who I am. A smiler, bright side of life.
Except lately, mourning my pup
with floods of tears
does it show?

Seventh grade, two girls questioned me
about Daddy’s death, I shrugged, smiled
subterfuge. They responded: “Don’t you care?”
And where do you take that?
Cry in the middle of the playground?
Bemoan a travesty of life? Or bite your lip?
Let them think what they will?

I have not let the years be kind to me.
Never one to ogle a mirror,
snap selfies
yet one always trying to be fit,
(or fit enough)
age laughed, time guffawed
knowledge I was ignorant of.
Never let your guard down.
When you’re fifty, not twenty,
your body no longer forgives
nor does time.
Behave recklessly,
recovery echoes for days--no months--
until you think it’s impossible.

I weep still for the passing of my Scout.
Crickets sing, the kitchen clock ticks seconds.
I expect answers in wee hours.
I still own my life.

32 thoughts on “This Life

  1. I’m so glad this prompt worked for you. I found this poem very moving. The child who doesn’t quite know what to do with her emotions, the photographs (always smiling, and in our house you’d think it was always either bright sunshine or snow if you looked at our photographs!), and the grief. The last stanza would stand alone as a poem, the domestic details give us time and place, and the sadness sings out.

  2. Your poem touched me … my father died when I was fifteen and I had no place to put the emotion, nothing but half-smiles and shrugs for friends. I am 78, still struggling some days. Brava.

    1. Thank you, Rob. Scout’s death was sudden and unexpected, which is one reason why I think I’m taking it a bit harder than any of my others. I ridiculously thought he might be granted more time because of the awful circumstances under which he came to me. But the universe doesn’t work like that no matter how much we’d love it to. Hug your Edgrrr. Give love as if each day were the last…I wish I had given more hugs and kisses. And hugs to you. It is hard watching them age.

  3. Touching, revealing, vulnerable … all those things, all the time smiling. So much we hide behind our smiles. Thank you for sharing so freely.

  4. There is such honesty, such deep resolve and vulnerability in this poem ..❤️ it takes great courage to write like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I love your poem Sascha. Photos have a way of taking us back to feelings of long ago. You had to learn the hard facts of life at a young age. Age does take its toll on us. I love your look on the bright side attitude. This is the first I have heard that one. Well done.

  6. If you are talking about the small vehicle called a Scout, I had one of those–or my dad did when I was a teenager, but he really bought it for my sister and I to drive. Loved it. Or, perhaps you are talking about a different sort of Scout!

  7. When I read this I, fortitude and heart emerged. It really makes me wonder where yours came from? Maybe you were blessed to be born smiling and just kept rolling it 🙂 I like the vulnerability you shared in your selfie, Sascha.

      1. Good comeback for him: “Well, there are a few things I know. One of them is that you’re an ass.” Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      2. Nah, may he RIP, he was an ass. An intelligent ass but still an ass. After all of these years, I’m now (the writer in me) wondering: why was he such an ass? He was rude, scared his students, sad horrible things…why?

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