The wind calls me its friend and I believe it.
The trees look at me with their knotted eyes
and I nod beneath their grand omniscience.
I realise I cannot vanish.
Gaia’s grip is nondescript, effervescent and
ever-present. She will not let me go.
She will not allow me to descend into titanic depths
and consort with Kronos and the like.
She kisses my temples and tells me life on Earth
is feet grounded upon the earth not beneath it.
I realise being buried alive is not a blessing.
I realise I will leave marks wherever I go:
footprints, oily fingerprints, long auburn hair
strewn like war-time debris, the sound of my voice –
quiet and loud -, whispered breaths.
I realise Gaia has built me a home in which
I must build my own. My body is a home.
Not a temple. Not a train-wreck.
Not an answer to all of your prayers.
But a small home with cobwebs and lintels
in need of dusting, with sloping floors
and single-glazed windows, with a fire
burning and a draught beneath the doors.
I realise happiness is woven through with sadness,
and regret only means something if you frame it,
keep it above your mantelpiece and admire it
as if it were a Monet or a Constable.
I realise my too many possessions have shaped me;
whittled me like wood into a woman
who wishes to vanish, but never should.
I realise love is an interminable ache.
The trees watch me with knotted eyes
and I close mine, to sleep.
Poem: © Kristiana Reed 2020
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