Feeling my way
through memory
through pain
the recognition
of a mundane sound
gurgling of a coffee pot
garbage truck pulling up
to stop outside
things said and done
whirling around me
things from long ago
and things yet to come.
By almost leaving
I see the full truth
hear the exact cadence
of the blood racing through me
see the circle drawing itself
curved ends touching
no distinction between life lived
and life waiting
it's not my time
I'm coming to.

Nicole is a stay-at-home mother to three children, ages 10, 8, and 4. She received a Bachelors Degree in English Literature
at Widener University and a Masters Degree in English Literature at Villanova University. She has  written poetry,
fiction, and nonfiction throughout her life and has recently begun pursuing publication of her work. Nicole won two
prizes at the Philadelphia Writers' Conference in June, 2009,  in the categories of Literary Short Story and Poetry. Her fiction
is forthcoming in Long Story Short. 

This little poem took shape on the computer screen early one morning over the course of a few minutes, fingers tapping my coffee cup. I submitted it only once before to a poetry contest, and it did not place. The only editing I did after the initial writing was a few changes in line breaks to give the pace urgency.
I was beginning to emerge from a difficult period and wanted to express the emotional strength I had recently discovered within myself. I have always found that the best poetry and fiction is the product of brutally raw honesty about exactly what it is to be human but had no desire to describe literal circumstances that were on my mind. Instead, this idea of a narrator summoning the power to choose life over death in a near-death experience became my metaphor for overcoming sadness and moving forward with hope.  The concept of almost slipping to the other side but refusing to succumb seemed an appropriate mini-dramatization of exercising one's will to prevail over pain, no matter how grave.

The source of the imagery was what I thought might be the very basic sensations one might experience while regaining consciousness after a near-fatal blow. The circle image, I think, was about attempting to view sorrow as a necessary part of life's process.




Copyright 2009