unknow/ungrow

what does it mean to unhold:
to step back; to unfold
your hands from around
a desire untold?

when a dream comes too soon:
what is your kryptonite; 
what can you do?
rewind, regroup, resume?

what does it take to unintwine:
to undefine
what had no clear definition;
to disincline 
that which demands submission?

what is a poem worth
which evades cognition?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This is my poetic response to the prompt for Day 12 of NaPoWriMo – Friday! I’m so far behind! – which challenged us to write a poem about “what [it] would mean […] to give away or destroy a significant object”.

My offering is inspired by literature! It also strays a bit from the prompt, because it’s not about giving away or destroying something significant but rather about when something significant is taken from you. I often think about Audrey Niffenegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife (a book I hold incredibly close to my heart) and about how Claire and Henry had so many miscarriages because the babies inherited their dad’s genes and kept trying to time-travel while in utero. (I actually wrote a poem about it 10-odd years ago and published it on Protagonize, which I have just now discovered is defunct and about which I’m having a few feelings…) Anyway, this poem was inspired by that idea; my use of language was also partially driven by Margaret Atwood’s writing in The Handmaid’s Tale, when she names the disfigured children borne of handmaids “unbabies”. Words often do an inadequate job conveying loss, and it felt more significant to add the prefix “un-” onto words of fulfilment, like “know”, “grow”, and “hold”. These two books were my literary starting-points for this poem, but it isn’t particularly about miscarriage so much as it’s about loss in general.

The featured image for this post is by the artist cdd20, who has generously made some of their work available for reuse on Pixabay.

4 thoughts on “unknow/ungrow

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