Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Washed Clean"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by the "sense of self" square in my 11-1-20 card for the Sense-Ation Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

Warning: This poem features domestic abuse and its aftermath. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.


"Washed Clean"

[September, 2019]

Chanelle had lost herself
in the relationship.

She had forgotten
who she was and
what she was and
even why she was.

When it ended,
she was shattered,
like a bottle dropped on
a sidewalk and splintered
into pale green pieces.

Chanelle needed something new.

So she left landlocked Wyoming
and moved to Texas, buying
a tiny cottage by the sea.

In the misty mornings
she walked along the beach,
picking up bits of glass and herself.

The water came and went,
waves and tides, shush and flow,
washing everything clean.

Chanelle learned that
in time, the water would
wear down sharp edges
until the shards became
seaglass, frosted smooth.

If only she could throw
her heart in the water, that
would make everything better.

Instead she brought her knitting
down to the beach and made a shawl
in soft shades of green and blue.

The chevrons reminded her of
the sharp shards of glass, but
the cotton yarn was soft, and
it flowed like waves over sand.

Over time, the water washed away
the splinters of her old life and
made way for a new one.

She built a fresh self
out of seaglass and
shells and driftwood,

and that was better.

* * *

Notes:

The Sea Glass Shawl uses this knitting pattern.

Dysfunctional families can have a wide range of problems. In general, the difference is simply that dysfunctional families make life harder whereas functional families make life easier. There are ways to survive a dysfunctional family.

Domestic abuse often leads to isolation, one reason why women stay in abusive relationships. Some forms of abuse, like gaslighting, directly attack the sense of self. Survivors can recover.
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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