The Child Inside

He called me
This morning,
Come out to play.
I’m lonely
And need a friend.

He called me
This morning.
The child within
Is lonely,
She wants to play.

He called me
This morning.
I let me go,
Allowed myself
To play outside.

He called me
This morning.
The child within,
Not lonely,
Has found a friend.

For the friend I have yet to meet.

Love’s Burden

I lift weights.
To look good,
To feel well.

I lift weights.
To be strong,
To carry on.

I lift weights.
To put down,
To feel light.

I lift weights.
Am I strong?
Am I light?

I lift weights.
With empty hands,
With empty heart.

I lift weights.
Each year’s day,
Each day’s hour.

I lift weights.
Of my losses,
Of my dreams.

The Day Before You Came

I must have made coffee
At half past eight that day,
Then read the news by nine o’clock,
The weather forecast too.
It surely rained as always,
The day before you came.

I must have breakfasted at ten o’clock
Washed flakes with cold, white milk.
At eleven pushed myself,
With exercise, weights or something else.
Played music, cleaned the house,
The day before you came.

At twelve or so, I just don’t know,
Perhaps I watched the rain.
After that I must have checked
The faces on a dating page.
Of course they never changed,
The day before you came.

I must have lunched at one o’clock
And lunch for one it was.
At two I cleared my paperwork,
I hate to fall behind.
All done and in its place,
The day before you came.

I must have started writing
At three o’clock or so.
This poem, maybe more,
I wrote of love of course.
I’d forgotten how it feels,
The day before you came.

At five o’clock or soon beyond,
I’m certain that my work was done.
I must have made my evening meal,
Nothing special, much the same.
Then watched TV an hour or two,
The day before you came.

I must have gone to bed at ten,
I never stay up late.
The only voice a spoken book,
Another chapter of the same.
And yes, I’m sure I felt a sense
Of living without aim.

The day before you came.


Inspired by The Day Before You Came © 1982 ABBA

You Don’t Get Lonely, Do You?

“You don’t get lonely, do you?” she asserts. I am dumbstruck, fumbling to put together a credible reply. She’s a close friend, we’ve known each other for years. Perhaps that’s the problem. I believed we knew each other well but she is simply wrong, so wrong. If she really believes what she is saying then she does not “know” me at all.

Of course I get lonely sometimes, we all do. So lonely it burns. That she can’t perceive this astonishes me, but then I ask myself why. Is it something in her, perhaps a lack of insight or empathy? Or is it me? Maybe I hide things well, even if I am not consciously aware of doing it. It makes some kind of sense to keep one’s innermost fears and secrets hidden behind a facade. We all have things that we feel shame about and we don’t like to be judged upon them.

There’s something else I must tell you about. Jealousy. There is something in her tone of voice that gives it away, a bitterness, a hint of resentment that colours her words. It’s as if she is saying “You don’t get lonely, do you? I do. It’s not fair.”

There’s no time to go off on an “it’s not fair” tangent. She’s still waiting for my reply. “I do get lonely sometimes,” I admit, “but I like to spend some time alone too.” It is the best that I can do. A pathetic little admission, followed up with an even more pitiful attempt to rationalise it.

Does she know me? Do I know me? I used to think so… now I’m not so sure.

Image © 2018 Shona Silverman.