Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins
Words Left Unsaid
(To the Woman Who Raised Me)
I laid in your bed
that night. I could still feel
some permanently bent
into crowbars but gentle nonetheless,
run through my hair
like how the beads of your rosary glided
between your knuckles.
You soothed my eyes shut and
my nightmares, handcrafted by
my childhood anxiety, faded away.
But somehow I’m still stuck
with this reality five years later.
The reality where your bedroom
has become a storage unit
Your closet, a thrift store and
your name, a eulogy
trapped in my throat.
But grief is a foreign creature
that has made a home
of my body. It tells me
that it is not a prisoner
in here. I am.
I can feel it spread through my limbs.
My arms drag
on either side of me, like rice sacks.
My knees as unreliable
as your own.
First, it was Arthritis
that took your body prisoner
in its crooked kingdom but
Cancer finished the job.
Cancer played judge, jury, and executioner.
Cancer made me the main witness.
Although I could not muster up a goodbye
longer than three cliched words
I still ran my fingers
through your hair and soothed
your eyes shut. I’m sorry
to inform you that
I never believed in God,
but I prayed that night
that you would be free of any
nightmares, that your joints
would finally uncurl, that you
would no longer be a prisoner
in your own body.
I still pray
to be the rosary between your knuckles,
the one you would hold close to your chest
until you fell asleep.
to be the one you are buried with.
Gabrielle Romero is a full time student at Fullerton College. She has always been passionate about writing, and hopes that passion shows through her work.
They say that nothing is stronger than a Mother’s love,
but what if Mother has no love to give?
What if Mother is a shell so empty
that you could put her up to your ear and hear nothing but the sounds of the ocean?
It was another who died very suddenly,
But it was you who was in the casket.
I’ve lived my entire life afraid to speak out
in fear that no one would believe such a sordid tale.
Funny how life and guilt and death become so intertwined
when your only instinct left is simply to survive.
Amanda Leigh is a UNCC grad with a BA in English. She teaches 25 amazing preschoolers. In her spare time, she writes poetry to speak out about the abuse she experienced as a child at the hands of her Mother.
Coffee rings on the counter top of my life,
never quite fading away...
a constant reminder of the small
messy important moments in time
when warm mugs nourished our
fingers with life. Pulling us into
an exclusive bubble of intimacy
where we were the only dreamers
in the world.
Until we remembered we weren't alone,
with a quiet pop, we burst.
The mugs are washed clean, tucked away
into our cabinets, our fingers lose the warmth,
but are still alive with the memory
remembering the grip
of holding mugs, holding each other.
Juanita Cox is an emerging writer whose main claim to fame is the ramblings on her blog postgraduateglitter.wordpress.com. She writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.