20 Lines A Day

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Withered Hands

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She slowly got up from the ragged green chair,

hobbling to the kitchen, stirring something

as it boiled and rumbled.

The aroma reminded me of my grandma’s house,

long ago, me, a curly-haired child,

being chased away lest I get burnt.

A little girl sat playing on the floor,

a home-made rag doll, much-loved, it appeared.

The lady spoke to the child in a language

where I would not ever find proficiency-

yet I knew exactly what her words were.

In every place, every time, we are all one.


Life without…

in solitude her footsteps slow; in robe of pink
through empty rooms,  she wanders
no laughter or voice that echo in her days and nights

life strange and silent,  meals for one
with simply why,  as she reaches for the
cupboard door as she did the day before

views once shared by two hands held
her arms now crossed she sees the morning rise
the quiet moon,  with only her eyes

no one to share

do her children know the loneliness
she faces in the minutes,  hours,  the days ahead
with wrinkled trembling hand she reaches

for the phone upon the wall
and stops ~ with a piercing felt within
they have their lives to live

clutching his jumper to her breast
breathes the smell of him;  slowly with care
folding delicately,  it’s placed upon the shelf

with memories

a life now lived without him by her side
what is life to be now ~ what does she do
a broken heart that family cannot heal

words and hugs are not enough

thoughts of where she was born flood back
piercing her heart ~ there is
no home to return to,  there or here

so many years where he knew what needed to be done
paved the way with his decisions, she is lost
she knows not how to cope

he will return he will be once more by her side
she sleeps with fingertips that
trace his pillow where he lay his head

and dreams of his protection

and as her silent teardrops fall,  she sits next
to the empty chair and talks as if he were still
beside her ~ her hand reaching in the air,  in hope

that he will return

©JTacken Sep 2013


Metamorphosis

Gossamer veil before me sliver of light
peers furtively through trees that have seen a hundred years
absence of day with steps I place, now in sudden fear
not knowing of where I go or where I’ve been

disconsolate foot steps, crackle leaves beneath my feet
forest of deadened branches hang eerie, blackened sleep
who am I, where am I, behind or in front
cautiously tread direction lost steps to find myself

one foot wrong shall I be left in a world I do not want
one foot right will I find myself forgoing the life I’ve led
brush what my eyes before me see, start anew without the ink
trunks of deadness, branches hang life to them is lost

renew yourselves, birth new buds like I must do at life
banish cobwebs of my fears, eradicate self doubt
step into the daylight, know who you are and why
blackened forest take your leave, be reborn like I


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The Window

Her world
behind the window
cracked and rotted wood
falling flakes of paint

curtain not of any colour
greyish hue
old, no longer pretty
need replacing

her world
behind the window
peering out to the garden
sliding her hand along the grimy glass

that she was once able to see through
clearly, but now cannot

how is her mind
behind the window
casting her eyes on weeds
below that need
removing for they old

no longer cared for

and she asks herself …. why don’t they come to visit anymore


Note to Self- Writing Prompt

Dear me at the age of 30-

I hope you survived this long

despite of the ravaging storm,

if you are still going through

the same situation as me

try hard to get rid of it

because there is more to life

but this numbness

you must have embraced so

comfortably by now,

if you have got rid of it

never forget your experience

embrace your new life

and take those steps

you have earlier been 

too afraid to take.

whether you are still dealing

with it or not,

try and help others-

listen to them, let them speak,

never be judgemental

for I know how it feels

and you too, I know.

Sincerely, the being that is you

at a younger age of 17.


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HANDS

Her hands, crippled with arthritis, clutch the flour sifter
and scoop just enough flour to knead the flaky pie crust.
Knobbed fingers, spotted with age,
lovingly stitch dresses for a little girl’s dolls.
Warm rough hands, callused from hours, hoeing in the garden,
hold a little girl’s hands in hers, as they walk to the piano lesson.
The little girl knows,
all is well, the world is safe and she is loved.
She is with grandma.

Her hands, crippled with arthritis,
scrape clumps of cookie dough onto the shiny sheet.
Knobbed fingers, spotted with age,
stitch a wedding gown for a not so little girl.
Warm rough hands, callused from years of putting tractor parts in bins,
hold a little boy’s hand in hers, as they walk to the lake.
The not so little girl knows,
all is well, the world is safe for her son,
he is with her mother.

Her hands, crippled with arthritis, clutch the flour sifter,
only at Thangsgiving, now.
Knobbed fingers clutch a pen, attempting to catch a piece of life,
and put it on paper.
These hands have known the touch of a woman’s hands,
which pass on the love that has gone before.
These hands have held the hands of children,
have dried their tears and her own.
She carries on, she is the daughter.

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