she didn’t want to be locked inside
but sometimes she felt unsafe
and hid away

she felt attacked
and hid away
she felt misunderstood
and violated
and hid away


at lunch with the kids, at the park,
they play their lion-cub games
the second-eldest and I watching and
commentating on the two younger ones
like it’s a nature documentary

we giggle conspiratorially
even as a terrible sadness
remains present


I hug a tree
I no longer cares who sees me


after dropping them off
I stop inside the open church
I am not catholic
nor religious
but I dip my fingers in the holy water
and I touch it to my forehead
both sides of my heart,
my abdomen

I walk to the front
and sit in front of mary
and I think of what to say
but she instead speaks through me

and she says:

give me the strength

(but no, that was me)

and she says, to herself, through me:
send love to that boy/man
let him not feel alone
let him be healed
stay with him always

and I say,
thank you, thank you
so much, mother mary
please never leave his side

and I press my fingers together and touch them to my lips
offering her all my gratitude
for generating this
compassion in me
for someone who had done
such perceived harm

and then I say,
please help me survive all this, as you yourself did
and please help —

but suddenly I don’t dare to say the words out loud,
because they mean that much to me,
more, more, than anything
it’s the mother’s most natural,
most basic instinct, to want this one thing

and I suddenly, crying, I realize
that ultimately,
what I wish means nothing
even if it’s to save someone else, or a great many
or few someones
very dear to me,
it all means nothing to the universe

if it’s just because
I care.

So then I say,
Please guide me
in everything I do or say
or at least, please
let me remember to let you guide me
most of the time,
dear Mother, dear Creator

and then I feel deep gratitude,
and I send deepest gratitude for the sculptor
who’d made Mary
and the painter who’d made the gorgeous blue and gold
frescoes behind her
and the builders, the masons, who’d worked and toiled to
build this big, gorgeous, completely empty church
where I was now lucky enough, or unlucky enough

but certainly contented enough, joyful enough, and sad enough
to be sitting
completely alone

and I gave thanks for the designers, and the persons who’d directed it all
and I gave thanks most of all for Nature
for she’d/he’d/it’d Created it/us all.

and then I left the building,
and went Outside.


~ sobrietytree day 183



Edit 17:04 oops. Re-read this… and realized it could be misinterpreted, and for that I’m sorry if you saw it and were worried. This is about something I unexpectedly saw online, in a place where I never would expect to see the like of it, and about how I feel the entire world is affected by similar things, and how I feel anxious about the seemingly-inevitable fact that our children will also be affected by similar things in the future, and about the terrible and heart-wrenching fact that many children already are. But there, again, perhaps I myself misinterpreted, or am simply #TooSensitiveForSocialMedia.

I made this blog private last Sunday eve, after some some prolonged hours of panic, because I felt shocked, violated and scared, after seeing the said something. But love and light prevails, in this moment at least, and for as long as I can sustain it within myself — thanks in part to many of you, and your wonderful support, for which I am truly grateful.


xo n/st

5 thoughts on “Inside/outside

      1. Thank you, dear Anne, ❤️not sure what possessed me to publish this. but the scene was real. I agree it’s beautiful in theory, but hard to live with sometimes… thanks again for your lovely reply. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I think I’m trying too hard to work all this out Nadine. It’s like an intriguing puzzle. Maybe it’s best for me to skip your edit section and reread the poem. Poems often mean different things than the writer intended. That’s the beauty of creative work. You create it, put it out there and then it’s what the reader wants it to mean. Either way I really liked it. As I say it’s certainly got me intrigued.
    Jim x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so kind to try Jim… like I’ve just replied to Anne, I don’t blame you for being befuddled. I was quite befuddled later on, and “oh-no-ing” for having published it. It’s weird feeling drunk when you’re sober. The hangover’s not as bad though. ;))


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