Gone Girl

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Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ka8s6fgtXwc/

I’m not sure how to preface this poem. It’s funny how writing “overtakes” me, and some things just write themselves.

In saying that, I don’t mean to oversimplify the process—as though the writer is some kind of medium just repeating what the “writer spirit” says. This poem took me the better part of a full day, and I rewrote it completely three times—crossing out words, changing rhyme scenes, rearranging the form. It was a poem birthed in struggle.

And yet, the poem chose to be born from my pen. It wasn’t a topic or prompt or something that I was told to write about.

This process of writing everyday has been cathartic for me. Since I borderline on OCD whenever I commit to doing something, there is a certain compulsion now to write everyday.

Quite frankly, I’m loving this compulsion. It feels freeing even as it commits me to a task. Crazy, huh?

With all that said, this poem is dedicated to a long time family friend who lost a daughter eight years ago this week. The heartbreak never ends.

In her own words, “No matter how many years go by, our arms never forget the babies we are no longer able to hold.”

Gone Girl

I laid my weary bones in the spot
where your heart beat for the last time;
I wondered at the peaceful sky—
how life has been such a hard, hard climb.

Life works out that way at last—
the present lives in tandem with the past.

My eyes cried tears dried up by grief
as I danced to the tune of woe
like a puppet poised on a string
moving in ways I didn’t know.

Life works out that way at last—
the present lives in tandem with the past.

The past isn’t past until we say,
but I don’t know what you need now.
You exist in all who loved you—
I feel the soul lingers on somehow.

Life works out that way at last—
the present lives in tandem with the past.

Yes you are with me though you’re gone—
in everything, it’s you I see.
I feel your presence in my life song,
casting a sweet spell over me.

Life works out that way at last—
the present lives in tandem with the past.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Life In The Middle

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Thanks to Damian Patkowski @damianpatkowski for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/T-LfvX-7IVg

Watching the first episode of the Netflix Original “High on the Hog”, listening to the news stories of the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and reflecting on the documentary of the Holocaust in Hungary, my heart became weighted down.

The grief was real. And heavy.

But I know the importance of wading through the ugly parts of history. We must know where we’ve went been to know where we are going.

We remember the past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.

Life In The Middle

A story has no beginning
and it has no end, which leaves me
living somewhere in the middle.
Though I’m not one who came before,

I’ve no breath without the exhale
of my ancestors. I come home
to the place they left; I hold on
so that place is not forgotten.

We must know where we have been,
and where we are in order to
understand where we are going;
if we choose to ignore the past,

we ignore a part of ourselves.
Light shines in the dark, and sunshine
chases away the dim shadows,
but where do the memories hide?

Where does the past leave the present?
In the stillness of the night skies,
there lives the anguish in our blood—
fragments of a lost memory.

If we don’t valorize the past,
who will? I’m not the beginning
of the story, and I am not
the end. I sit here with you in

this moment, knowing who we are,
understanding our connection,
convening with our ancestry—
and choosing never to forget.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan