#NaPoWriMo Day 19/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Haibun — “Forest Thoughts” #amwritingpoetry #amwritingfiction


For NaPoWriMo Day 19, my own poem. Also, thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Photo Challenge.


Credit: Mindcore


The words were caught in Genevieve’s throat, and she couldn’t let go. It was as if a force shield quivered, blocking her. She couldn’t push through and recoiled when her attempts sputtered. She shoved and stumbled through the bubble walls. Finally, there was nothing stopping her speech, tears that wouldn’t stop as she trembled with nerves. Her and Gage had had another messy fight. She was left tearful and scatter brained.

Genevieve brushed poppy hair from her eyes. She twirled a strand and repeated the words. “I’m going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. Someday soon, everything will be alright.”

She ached, exhausted, as her thoughts slipped and tossed. What was her opinion worth if Gage didn’t respect it? If her thoughts meant nothing as sand swirling into the wind, words lost. Then, past inklings of Gage’s kindness trickled into her mind. It wasn’t only his fault, it was hers too.

She blinked as water droplets splashed her face. The sky opened and nature healed her, soaked her clothes through. She knew her wounds would no longer bleed, not for a long time. She could handle Gage; she could handle ‘them.’

In retrospective she realized that the pain of silence after fighting was necessary. That mulled over words and nights of blank introspection had their purpose too. As Medusa’s locks turned to snakes, so Genevieve’s thoughts hissed and slithered. She might be a Medusa sometimes, but Gage didn’t care; they were each other’s monsters.

Near home, she curled on the old oak in the copse, thinking about how much time people wasted in anger and regret. Like she, most people said nothing at all, when the most significant words were so simple.

Genevieve thought about how grudges and long held hurts were nothing more than dust –ashes. But, they were meaningless in the scheme of life because, life wasn’t about who’s right. It’s not about words misread and mis-said. Life was about not wasting time upset over details.

She clenched her hands, then breathed deep as she drifted a moment, and shivered. The downpour hadn’t been cold but her teeth chattered now. She’d walked off from Gage sometime ago, needing time in the copse to think.

Then, a sting on her cheek made her jump; the mosquitos were out. Behind her the sky was grey tinged with coral. The night creatures’ scurried in the dark and Genevieve sighed. The cool air was medicine and she inhaled it, no matter that she had to wrap her arms around herself.

She hummed, and thought more about the words she hadn’t said, and the ones she had said to Gage. The words that hurt, and that said the wrong way caused pain. You could turn the maybes and what if’s around in your mind, and even though no one should say certain words — people made mistakes; her and Gage worst of all.

She shuddered again as the night air cooled more. Genevieve headed home from the copse, and the sky darkened to starlit-navy. Hours after their fight she recognized it wasn’t about what was said; it was about what a person’s actions proved.

That was a truth; perhaps, one beyond words. It was a realization that fear of the worst brings all humans to their knees, but that there was still hope. It was possible for all those tainted fights to fade, for partners to reunite. She peered around the dim as she trudged through the wet grass. Genevieve was un-afraid, she’d visited this copse many nights. She breathed in cedar, and the dampness of rain. She took her soggy hoodie and tried to squeeze out water. She pulled it tighter.

“We’re okay now.” She said it aloud because it was real. It wasn’t a faint hope as before. It was conceivable. She was no longer a medusa, but had discovered a self-confidence. Confidence that overcame her doubts, her pain of Gage’s words.

Genevieve had thought her walk private, until a rounded squirrel ran in front of her and stopped. He was wet too, but didn’t seem to care as droplets shook from his fur. He cocked his head towards her in the moonlight.

“Aren’t you supposed to be sleep up high?” The squirrel chirped and scuttled closer. She reached into her purse, and the squirrelly froze waiting to see what she reached for. She tossed a small carrot, and the squirrel clenched it; he devoured it. After, finishing his first treat, the squirrel scuttled closer. She moved a second carrot around in the air like an old chalk-pen.

“You see, squirrel. The worst happens, and then in the thick of it, your mind opens, and everything’s okay — everything’s okay. Those past fights, bitter words mean nothing. All these fears you have burn away. Whatever the past, it’s no longer relevant. Trust me squirrel.” He chirped in demand, and she knelt babe held out the carrot. He nudged it from between her fingers and bundled it away as he scampered up the nearest tree.

She clutched her purse and stretched as grayish clouds slid over the moon As she neared the path to the cabin porch. Her fight with Gage was done. Genevieve thought about how sometimes, the world spun too fast, how time sped. But, she knew Gage would forgive her and she forgave him too. She shivered but jogged close as the cabin came into view. She emerged from the copse a new woman.

When she reached the top porch step, she halted. Gage lay half asleep on the porch swing. He had waited for her. Her hands shook as she sat beside him, and covered them both with a thick blankets from a storage bench. She’d pulled off her soaked shoes and sweater, the rest of her was half dry.

Genevieve snuggled into Gage’s shoulder. As sleep claimed her she thought about how life was a mosaic of possibility. It altered and spun into a world that never ceased to amaze. It didn’t matter that sometimes it ached. It mattered that for seconds, the aches ebbed to nothing but her and Gage asleep beneath the stars.

Asleep on the swing they rest,

Thoughts of hurt drift in peace found;

Heals the deepest wounds.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.