I long for the deep

and yet I stay riveted on

the shallow pathways

of my mind.


Afraid to descend

into the shadows

I follow the path

of distractions.


The familiar

keeps me bound

to a false sense of

self and security.


Maybe the poem

ends here

in the all that

is ever going to be.


And yet I feel

the swell of something

else arising

something unborn.


All around me

is nothing but

unlimited space

pure potential.


A pause

and an impulse

to give up on the poem

to walk away

and leave her hanging

there in limbo

a state between

here and there. 


The known

and the unknown

The born

and the unborn.


A poem needs

time and patience


and birthing.


Today is my

daughter’s birthday.


I remember

the pauses in the

birth canal

when my children

were being born.


Waiting for

the next contraction

as my body not me

birthed a human being.


For a time

I took ownership

but I knew from the moment

they were born

they weren’t mine.


Just like the words

of this poem.


We tell the story

of me and mine

even though we know

it’s not the truth.


I also call the flowers

in my garden mine

and yet I have

never truly grown a flower.


I know nothing

about the impulse

that makes them flower

or how they got

to be so exquisite

and unspeakably



© Candace Kirby

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