caught in the storm

if you should find yourself

in the middle of the woods

caught in a rainstorm

unexpected, or perhaps

you saw it coming, but kept on walking anyway

you had to, there was nowhere else to go

and this is what you do, this

is what your life is called now

don’t be afraid, even if

you are dragging the great darkness of a broken heart behind you, even if

it screams, weeps, thrashes

tries to drown you in the river

they don’t mind—the trees

and even after, when the rain stops

the air silent with the swell

of birdsong

you are alone, breathe

even then

if you stay very still, just hoping

even if you cannot pray

tired of knocking on a door that stays shut

wait

wait for it, quietly

a blackbird will come down from the very top of a sycamore tree

it will bring its feathers, black

slick with wet, its beak a small cone of yellow hope

it will hop onto your shoulder, sure

and soft

and if you want it to,

it will sing.

— caught in the storm

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Marc Clinton Labiano on Unsplash.

what i learnt on a dark road.

a question walks into my bedroom: what advice would you give to your daughter about life—about love.

i sit with it for a long time.
i had other lives, once.
i don’t hold much in my hands, now.

there are scars. they are old.

i do know this.

you can tell a lot about a man by the things he promises in the dark.

what he remembers in the light, is what you really need to know.

i don’t have a daughter, gave birth to a boy.

my hands are shaping a man.

at breakfast i tell him what i know, anyway.

— what i learnt on a dark road.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Oana Hodirnau.
Unsplash.

Image by Oana Hodirnau.
Unsplash.

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