I found the poem below in some old documents the other night while looking for something to read at my writers group. I wrote it in 2004 and revised it a little more this week. Daddy’s shoe was the first thing I saw when I found him. Reading this poem in the group gave me some trouble. No one said much in the way of helping me make it better except one person. She told me to put the word “alone” in a line by itself.
I’ve found it is good to talk about things that trouble me and not hide myself from them. As I read the poem, I could feel that old shitty fear rising up in my throat, scared of something that had already happened. Scared of how the people in my group might think. I read it as fast as my heart was beating. Someone said it was “dark,” and I said yes, I wrote it while I was in a dark place.
The same person who offered constructive thoughts on the poems I read that night wrote a note just for me to see. These are real life experiences, don’t apologize for how you felt or express them.
When I hide away from the things that scare or trouble me, when I don’t speak what I believe or feel, then I make it easy, too easy, for me to fall back into invisibility. Being invisible is just as terrifying as finding that one left shoe.