It doesn't surprise me

By Naomi McPeters

Does it surprise you that



That there is no meaning



I am.

Only a regretful reminiscing

And a story attributed to

The agony of life


Shadowless, or shadow filled it may appear

but in the wreckage

there was something beautiful to be found

in the acts of dismay and


The death was never beautiful

But the love we remember

makes it bearable

and searing.

There is no meaning in death

But in the lives we choose to live


Does it surprise you that there

is a triangle of stars

beneath the moon

beside it

And reaching them would leave behind

millions of years of our lives

Still we are told from our childhood

To reach for them.


It doesn’t surprise me

that we fear for our children

so much

that we would stop them from living

That the pain of our youth

would keep us trapped in a prison

of a certain sort of


Does it surprise you that


           only temporary

Spends a lifetime feeling permanent.


            an aching void of sadness.

You, who held her hands out in the rain

Who witnessed a hurricane

Sweep her foundations away

You, who could not control her rage

You, who loved so deeply that


became the only escape

Making her right –not righteous—

in the balancing scales of God.


There is a photograph

of a past, forgotten me

A snapshot in my mind of who I used

to be

Constant recalling and flashes of memory

That leave me

Terrified of the ghosts I can’t see

There is a photograph that I hold in my heart

   Of me.

And it doesn’t surprise me

That I can only,

              only I,

can see the figures that are missing,

who appear in my dreams

a lovely hatred.


The image never really changes

Besides the weathered edges of this


               moment of memory

Is a face I do not recognize

A graveyard where nothing remains

Except the loss of time and the losses

             of the youthful years

Let it be remembered

That all these

—empty spaces

missing figures

worn out faces

torn up letters

ruined children

shattered fragments—

Would one day be redeemed.