No turning back

 

It can be a wonderful thing to belong in a group.  I know people who find great fulfilment in knowing every move to make, every word to say or avoid, every rhythm of “how we do things.”   The comfort of knowing there will be people there for you, come what may; and the knowledge that you will do the same for others – whether they ask for it or not.  The can be a comfort in conformity.

But then there are the others, the ones who struggle continually within the constraints of belonging.  The ones who live like icebergs, unwilling or unable to reveal their depths.  Or who give up and melt away.  I’ve seen it so often.  The longer I live, I find I am wistful for the belonging, for its goodness; but at the same time find I am increasingly drawn to the fringes, the rebels, the bright orange in a sea of black and blue.

 

No turning back

Someone in this sea of black and blue,
of downturned eyes, has a tattoo
on her shoulder blade – a butterfly
perhaps; better yet, a devil’s eye
that no one but her lover knows,
a secret that she never shows.

Someone in this modest fashion show
is wearing orange, brazen just below
her neckline, bursting with desire
not so much to shock as just to let the fire
within her have its head at last – finally
to be the blazing torch that she was born to be.

Someone in this close and holy space
is terrified, yet ready to depart this place
once and for all. Tonight,
after the benediction, no fight
no grand pronouncements, no bitter end.
Just a kiss, a plain embrace for every friend
and then no turning back – her fierce reward for
loosening the tight-tied strings her mother wore.

 

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About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

7 responses »

  1. Andrew, you have such a way of capturing poignancy and emotions. I always feel your words so deeply–both the joy and sadness, wonder–whatever flavor you’re serving that day 🙂 I think each of us has a little bit of that orange peeking out, some just hide it better than others…

    Reply
  2. This spoke to me – the secret tattoo or the orange flare of hinting flamboyancy. I think we all have moments of both…

    Reply
  3. dude…nice imagery…and truth as well….when i was a teen i def had thick rebel blood and lived on the fringe…i walk there now just to belong among them and find their stories…and occassionally still feel the pull to just run…

    Reply
  4. I especially enjoyed that middle stanza ending with “finally
    to be the blazing torch that she was born to be.”
    Well done !!

    Reply
  5. The secrets in here speak to a secret of my own, and I feel I have to thank you for writing this.

    Reply
  6. the bright orange in a sea of black and blue is what makes life excting – seen from the safety of belonging. A dip in and out can be valuable, but the humdrum is needed, to ground us in truth.

    Reply
  7. I love this: “The ones who live like icebergs, unwilling or unable to reveal their depths. Or who give up and melt away. … I am wistful for the belonging, for its goodness; but at the same time find I am increasingly drawn to the fringes, the rebels, the bright orange in a sea of black and blue.”

    “has a tattoo
    on her shoulder blade – a butterfly” … (smiles)

    “to let the fire
    within her have its head at last” … Amen to that.

    Well just look at this magical ending. You are superb, my friend … “loosening the tight-tied strings her mother wore” … We do hold on to the corset, do we not?

    Reply

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