I find peace in being self aware
rather than trying to decide
if there is something bigger than me out there.
So when Poe writes about Annabel Lee
and her tomb in the sea,
or when Heathcliff begs Cathy at the tree
to haunt him, I see my own face
in varying guises of the past.
I do not see the mist between a netherworld
and us, an after us, an after life.
I see the girl who was frightened
of how much life
she heard balling up inside her; life
which sounded like anger, like memories
haunting me more than the sound of my present,
my voice and all its power.
I see the girl who was given love
but struggled to keep it – to know how
to store it, to stop it vanishing with her breath
on wintry mornings.
I see the girl who tried to find a God
or something higher
and was only led to herself. It is within
this body of mine that I now find peace
and cocoon the girl’s little hands
in my palms, wrap my arms around her:
I hold her, to hold myself better
than anyone else can.
Poem: © Kristiana Reed 2020