Within Her Confines

Maybe for breakfast you have one egg and toast without butter, and coffee without cream,

and maybe you swallow down the bitter truth of it with a token smile,

grab your bag from the hallway table, and escape into the crisp, cold morning air

breathe……….breathe for a while

because you know at supper, after work, you’ll only have one glass of wine, if that

and you’ll take those things you brought home with you today — the snips and pieces of passion — and tuck them back into that bag, that safe hiding place until tomorrow

so it’s easier tonight to be one-note and unobjectionable,

small and of no consequence to anyone’s conceit

so it’s easier to say no, no, no, it’s OK, and this is enough,
when what you wanted to say was

“I’ll have orange marmalade and butter, please, and sweet cream that whips to a peak, and three chilled glasses of Rosé.”

“I want to get up on that dance floor, darling, and make a complete fool of myself because one of us is leaving soon, and we won’t get this chance again!”

Poetry Writing

Suggested Title: Tenacious

No matter what we think
or how it feels,
we don’t really break break,
even our break downs
imply eventual turn ups.

Oh sure, we bend a little,
(bend over backwards, too)
fold under pressure sometimes
lean into the pain
collapse with exhaustion
appear to come apart at the seams
and yet…

And yet.

Upon this holy ground of spirit
there is still room to breathe,
we are not damaged, we are flexible
we are not falling apart, we are rebuilding
we are not broken or undone.

By the very fibers of our being,
we are strength and grace

Poem ©2021. An ekphrastic poem written by Jen Payne, inspired by the sculpture Untitled by Lisa Wolkow, featured in the Guilford Art Center Faculty Show Keeping On.