Black: A Poem About Hiding

It’s National poetry month, and I’ve resisted posting any of my poetry mostly because I’m don’t consider myself a poet. But as I reread this poem, it opened my eyes to a path I was tempted to walk again…this week. Even as I head into surgery in a few days.

Some explanation is in order, but I’ll be brief. This poem is a part a series based in colors. I pushed off saved the colors black & white until I’d done a host of others. Knowing myself, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, when the two starkest colors produced dark poems (Seriously. Who writes a dark poem about the color white?!). But I am surprised at how easily I fall into the habit illustrated here:

Black: A Poem about Hiding

Warm. Safe. Contained.
.      In the dark corner
.             I can’t see them,
.                   hear them,
.                          think about them,
.                               or deal, cope, hope.
.                                    I am mine
.                                                               Alone.
.                                    Narrow band of light
.                               from them
.                          peaks through,
.                    reaching.
.              Golden in promise,
.        deadly in delivery.

But I’m hidden
behind folds and corners.
Breathing darkness
the warmth of my own breath.
Hidden
Alone.

 

This poem’s sentiment is something I adopted as a kid and fight against as an adult—hiding from people. But I’m beginning to learn:

People aren’t always safe, but I miss something when I hide my true self. Tweet This

As I’m headed into surgery later this week, the desire to go into hiding is strong. I want to pretend it’s all okay, that I’ve got it all together. I’ve even cracked jokes and then went home and cried.

I promised myself I would be honest here. So I’ll say that putting myself out there has  been a successful experiment in some regards. The light from the other room fulfilling its golden promise. I found folks stepping up to help that I did not expect.

But boy, did it ever confirm what I’ve suspected in other places. And it hurts…and makes me want to find the nearest closet.

Here’s the thing I’m learning. Folks don’t know what they don’t know. We’re all hanging around in life—heads down; doing what we need to do. Those folks I expected to be there, they’ve got stuff. Just like I’ve got stuff. And you’ve got stuff.

And sometimes the stuff just gets all up in the way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty (if not more so) than anyone else. I’m truly not blaming them.

But it’s still there:

The desire to hide is all mixed up in hurt and hope.

So what’s a girl to do?

At the moment, my stuff (surgery prep and eventually post-surgery pain meds) prevents me from driving; lifting more than 10 pound; and doing, writing, or saying anything coherent. But part of coming out of the darkness is opening the door to the light of another’s presence.

So here’s my door open wide. Hoping the light will move from me to you. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

10 thoughts on “Black: A Poem About Hiding

  1. First, my sweet friend, whenever I first read your fiction, I said to myself- “This girl’s a poet.” So I’m so happy to see you embracing another one of your many gifts!! And I’ll be praying for you concerning your surgery <3

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment and the prayers. I’ve been reading some of my favorite poets again. I’ve missed reading them and it’s fun to go back to familiar territory.

  2. I can so relate to your poem and I love the picture of people going through life with their heads down. It’s so true and convicting. I really want to help. I even chose a career in the helping field but my stuff often gets in the way. Like a closet in plain sight, I keep my family inside and only open the door when someone knocks. Thanks for this reminder to step outside! I’m praying your surgery goes well.

    1. I am so grateful for folks like you that are willing to help…and for those that do, it’s often a good idea to take a break sometimes 😉 And thanks for the prayers. You have no idea how much it means to me to have folks out there praying.

  3. Janyre, I admire your courage. (And your poem.) My heart hurts with you reliving times when being me wasn’t ok with others. Being real is not for wimps… Prayers for a successful surgery, complication-free healing, and competent and compassionate care. Hugs!

    1. Yes. We do have a ton in common. But I love how courageous you are in helping other folks. If I can do half as much, I’ll be a happy lady!

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