Friday, March 14, 2014

Shell Shock (A Poem)

A Transformation, I suppose...

Wanting to wash you
From my memory
Like dried beer stains,
I closed the line between us
Like an old storm door
Rusted at the hinge
And it would not open again.
I hung a messy string
Of fairy lights across the
Pristine white walls behind my bed,
Tussled my hair into an unmade nest
And threw my shoes
Into the river like a wood nymph,
The same ones full of
Your shelled beach sand,
I wanted rid of every crumb of you.
I sat in the rain
And spoke to the moon
As if she were another mother
And I refused to cry
come Thanksgiving,
Two hundred minutes of forced smile
Across a table full of
cobbler and string beans
not once wondering if you
were even thinking of me.
And come spring, I exchanged
My sandals for tights,
Tossed my favorite jeans too,
The ones that always compelled
You to brush against me
In that subtle-man sway.
I pushed flowers and bands
Of silk between my tussled hair
And behind my ears,
Laughing a little at all my secrets
That you never won.
I spent a year of my life
Filling back into my body
As a woman whose curves
You'll never get to touch.
I bought the black dress,
The one you warned me against,
And a red one made of cashmere too,
Each silky crevice of my skin
Burning the memory of you
Like a smoking gun,
And I wore them well.

Written for a prompt at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.


  1. Well, there's a lot to like in this one...the storm door, messy string of fairy lights, wood nymph...and of course the dresses

  2. Reminds me of a character from a Francesca Lia Block story. I consider myself lucky to count her among my friends, and I really love her writing. Well wrought, Stacy Lynn ~

  3. There is a fine art to letting go, particular to each person, and your way rings very true for me. It is a long hard process, but the day you feel it is really over is reason enough to celebrate in a new red dress.

  4. ah it is tough to find the way back to oneself again after a disappointing experience... good on you on buying and wearing that dresses...loved the hair parts as well

  5. smiles....the wanting to change...prove them wrong, show them you can and not let their memory dictate who you are....yeah...well told stacy

  6. wow, now this is real letting go and for me really evokes the spirit of that song. the personal details weave together a really interesting, powerful read. i'd like to see you creating something fantastic in your red cashmere dress!

  7. the hardest part of shell shock is to move on...letting them drift out of sight...lots of emotion and thought in the poem nicely done Stacey

  8. The imagery in this is fantastic . . . great sense of discarding and moving forward.

  9. Deeply poignant. It really is difficult to was away all the grey.

  10. I love rich in details. Wonderful piece of letting go!!

  11. Strong voice hereof a woman still convincing herself. The details are wonderful. I like!

  12. The brewing of this charm requires both the items of abandonment--all that was once desired--as well as the defiance that prevents desire from collapsing in defeat. And time, seasons, a faithfulness to the wound. So that the speaker becomes more than everything the spurned lover thought he wanted. Turning defeat into magnitude. The avenging witch has a potent broom to ride ... redressing an outraged nature. Lots of good ink here to save for other colder seasons that have to be endured along the way.

  13. "and I wore them well" is a dazzling last line and I adore "I spent a year of my life
    Filling back into my body". Fantastic emotion.


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