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Abandon by Michele Seminara

what happens
when you hear the news

and find yourself gazing
in underwater slow motion
at all that up to this point
was your life.

The verandah you spent the day
inexplicably painting green,
the doll’s house
carefully constructed
in the childhood room,
the vase placed
just so
to welcome him home,
the treacherous photographs
lining the fairytale hall

roll gently
in waves
and send ripples out into the future
so that it instantly –
rearranges itself,
and what was to be
is now not.

Still. So still. Clear. Cruel. Dazzling.

All pierced by a
screaming voice (mine I think)
a crying child (ours).
She’s tugging my leg trying
desperately to pull me
through the doorway
of her already fractured
childhood before it
snaps shut.

(Oh sweetheart, I wish
if only for you,
that I could rewind
and keep playing my part,
but it’s gone, you see,
there’s nothing left to return to
because it was never there,
it was a lie.)

Then in the background I hear
a whimper (that’s you)
the sound funneling me back into
the – now of your face –
pale and quivering,
like a mollusc without its shell.

you stand,
your truth pried open before me,
waiting for the knife of my rage to cut –
and in a moment of horrifying clarity
I realize that you have been shucked!

Your exposure is indecent
(and somehow brave)
you burn in the light of my gaze
and are finally free.
(It is only much later
I dare to consider
that perhaps,
so are we.)

so as not to perpetuate harm,
I take her small hand
and we tip-toe away,
abandoning the spent husks
of past selves behind us,
trailing all our dark painful
roots along with us
like bloody testaments
to these stillborn lives
as we pull further,
further, further,
still pulling


7 thoughts on “Abandon by Michele Seminara

  1. Michele Seminara studied creative writing and Australian and English literature at The University of Sydney, winning several university writing competitions and publishing some short stories – writing was her passion and, she thought, her destiny.
    After dropping out of a postgraduate law degree she spent the next few years working and travelling throughout Europe, Asia, and particularly India, which she loved and where she spent a year. It was here that she became interested in yoga and she later trained to become a yoga, Buddhist and meditation teacher. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for over twenty years, and teaching it for nearly fifteen (this makes her feel much younger than it makes her sound!)
    She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and three children, and has a passion for poetry.
    You can read more of her poetry at her blog: TheEverydayStrangeAndSacred http://micheleseminara.wordpress.com/

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