A Thin Song

From living the chronic red angers which is you
I put too much stock in bright yellow flowers,
Into the misguided notion of the power of positive
Thinking in a ridiculous twenty-two step book I hold
In my hands like a small sacred Bible which reads
More like a mass-market mantra, like something that
Bears repeating: So I repeat it: “I have so much that
It’s hard to believe I’ve been this fortunate.” But it
Overlooks that you, named as father, &I as daughter
Will never part, so there’s no coming out of the deep dark
Which is you crying with dry eye I’m-never-going-to-be-happy,
But you-almost-make-me-want-to-live-again, but not really,
And because your-mother-is-overweight-it’s-all-her-fault-
Shifting madness. So I grow rail thin; but my fingers
Still look pretty cocked on a gun and nobody knows
You are (the) shrinking sun in my colder-by-the-minute
Universe; and I curse my heart for wanting to pray for you,
“Come out of yourself, dead man, &live.”
And my body continues to recite a thin song…
[I resolve to be cheerful, no matter what happens.]
[I resolve to be cheerful, no matter what happens.]

After Mary Oliver’s Poem “A Pretty Song”
Real Toads prompt: What Sparked Your Poetic Heart?


30 thoughts on “A Thin Song

  1. I’m not familiar with the poem which inspired this piece, but I am very impressed with the way you have approached the subject of depression, and eating disorders in a way that is so easy to relate to. The narrative voice is authentic and the narrative is painful yet purposeful.

      1. Of course our paths crossed on purpose. I never questioned that. Have a happy Spring full of hope and dirt on your hands (if you’re like me the dirt’s from pulling weeds not pruning flowers) 😝 Don’t tell me you have a green thumb!

      2. :)!! True story! I love spring and a happy one to you as well…our dirt’s still covered in snow but I’m anxious to ‘play!’ I just throw some seeds in the ground and hope for the best…usually get some goodies and we also know a local farmer or two that we support/are supported by…I can’t wait for kale! Hugs! ♥

  2. I deleted the first line of my comment after I realized that Hannah had just written it. This is incredibly powerful. There is no missing the pain, the hurt, the determination, the loss and gain; everything taking full bites of a heart… enormous bites…

  3. Your opening line makes me think of my mother. We lived with her anger and didn’t really learn of the source of her agony until after she died. I often write of pain to keep it from burrowing into my peace. Your words are extremely powerful. Great job!

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