hope | did you think that it just finds me?

it doesn’t just arrive on your doorstep, delivered

in the baby hours of the day

fresh

by a tired man, truck purring in the road

a thing

idling away, a life

ticking.

the sidewalks here are dirty.

proof

that people live here, and dogs—but they know more, always do.

things breathe here,

are they alive

though?

i mean really—not just inhaling,

exhaling.

i have to go out there, if i want it

find my mascara first, my lipstick, put on my walking shoes, the left sole—cracked.

a seam

gone—at least a season, gone

it lets the water in when it rains, and after

when it finally stops

even if i chose to avoid the puddles—i mean, who does that?

even then, my foot gets wet

soaked, cold

there is no pleasure in this—

not even i can join those dots.

all the way

up the hill i have to go, past the flat with the man who shouts things at me,

‘hey, sexy!’

—shouts at any woman who dares to be alive on this street

who does that, though

and why?

i pretend i don’t hear him, i know how to block my ears

what i don’t hear, doesn’t have my name

can’t own me

it doesn’t just follow you, you know—

find you where you are

no.

when i walk through the gate, to where it begins—the green

they call it a nature reserve, the sign says this

i believe it, but

it isn’t right there where you

would expect it to be, where they told you it would be

at the entrance—how desperate are you

there are empty cans, bottles, cigarette butts, signs

of pleasure—the nights are dark up here, they hide a lot

and yes—pleasure

can be found, if

you can pay the price

or want to.

i

have to walk a way further, it isn’t that easy, have to

put my ear to the ground, my hands flat

on the earth, i have to sniff it out like water

i have known how to do this

ever since i was young,

ever since i realised

that life

could eat it, would happily

kill it

if given half a chance, if

you let it

bread on the hills, i dig for it

hands filthy, i fill my plate

my cup

again and

again

this is how it is.

don’t be fooled.

it doesn’t just walk into your life.

no matter how much you want it.

you have to dig.

— hope | did you think that it just finds me?

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Faris Mohammed.

Unsplash

2 thoughts on “hope | did you think that it just finds me?

Add yours

  1. Oh dear goddess of words. Do you know, thst since I found you, the gifts of your words slip in me with honed synchronicity. I know the digging for hope in every vein. Since I worked from a young age digging ditches to irrigate and grow fruit; my hands are calloused, lonely and tenacious in digging for hope of shelter and a harvest for my soul. Now here you are, offering a hand held out to remind me of my courage and the shovel I carry, called courage. You are a gem and a blessing. Alix~

    Like

    1. Alix, thank you my lovely. Your words find my heart a little parched and stretched.

      I am so grateful for you.

      Like

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