elizabeth.

did you know, she said, that i have been so hungry for so long, from birth, i think, that i have fed all the soft parts of me to a hundred, maybe more, and it is never enough when the light breaks, and i am never enough, and only one of us leaves with a full belly and it is never me.

it is never me who knows what it feels like to be enough, to be just right and not too much, or too little, and i don’t know how to get all my pieces back, how do i find myself again, and my heart needs them back, because these holes are too big now and the wind blows right through them, and late at night, when all those people are walking through my head with their hungry bellies and their dirty feet, i can’t sleep for the sound of the wind weeping through those holes, my holes, and right through me, and perhaps it is me, i don’t know anymore…

and all i could say was, i know.

i know.

me too.

— elizabeth.

© Liezel Graham 2019.

Photograph by Dominika Roseclay.

Friend.

i am not afraid of your darkness or mine, and i have seen it all before, and my ears know the sound of fear all too well, and pain too, and i have walked this road in another life and even yesterday i stumbled over this same stone, and i can find my way out of here for both of us, and i see that you have run out of light? don’t worry—here, let me give you a bit of mine, and

i’ll just break a small piece off right here, and no—it doesn’t hurt at all, and it grows back so quickly and look! now you have some of me inside of you, and i think that means that we’re friends, and i see you, and you see me, and you are just what i have been searching for, come—let me show you the way out of here.

— friend.

© Liezel Graham 2019.

Photograph by Freestocks.

A freeform verse for a friend going through a hard time. xx

when you have changed.

and there might come a day,

unexpected in its light,

where you will have to fight, and

raise your new voice like a victory song,

so that they will hear you, and

although they may have walked

through your life

as a friend

does,

they

will

need

proof

of this (new) change.

this metamorphosis

unauthorised

by their hand.

and it will hurt.

all change does.

but you,

you must be of great courage.

you have grown up

and

you have grown in.

into your skin,

now stretched taut

over all that was once thin.

and your roots have grown strong.

and this new hunger

needs good soil,

so search

until you find the thing

that fills your bones

with joy.

and you have worried

about the leaves that have withered in places.

there is no need to fret

over things that are dying.

death

makes

room

for more, but

they might find this

uncomfortable.

find you uncomfortable to sit beneath,

at once

preferring the sparseness

of who you once were, and

not this new verdant canopy

that obscures their view

of who you are

now.

your rawness will frighten them,

disturb their sense of

right,

and

you

will

be

wrong.

and so,

fight

if you must.

if you must

prove

the worth of your

newness,

then fight.

but know that there are others,

many others.

and on a warm sunny day,

unexpected in its light,

they will stumble upon your presence,

and they will come and linger

in your shade.

and there,

there where the others found nothing

left of any worth,

they,

will find shelter and rest.

— when you have changed.

© Liezel Graham 2019

Photograph by Meve R.

hidden.

autumn,

is turning her shoulder,

lowering

her

gaze,

gathering

her

dying colours

as she prepares

to say

farewell.

until

next

time.

but,

first,

winter

must

pass

through

my

bones.

and i

am left,

exploring

the

empty

spaces

where

what

was

once

impossibly green,

is

now

dust.

and,

i pray.

pray,

brave

kitchen

prayers

of

i know there’s

more,

whilst

wiping crumbs

from

this table

like

another

desperate

woman

long,

long ago,

and

faces change,

and

stories

are diluted

with

time,

but,

loneliness

wears

the

same

cloak,

and,

women

have whispered

the same

desperate

hope

for

roots and belonging,

and

healing

and

another heart to call

friend.

and,

you

were

bread

then,

giver of hope.

and,

so

i

wait

to

be seen,

to

be

enough.

hungry,

for

my

spring.

— hidden.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Sometimes, the bravest prayer you can pray,

is for

more.