You do not want to be here

Posted on 6 Comments


Your bitterness,

like a shawl

wrapped loosely

slips off my shoulders like silk.

No matter how many times

I gather you up in my arms,

you do not want to be here.


I can see your bitterness,

the same vacant look

in Grandmother’s eyes

before she died—

here but not here

there but not there,

cursing that liminal space.


I can hear your bitterness,

lightning silenced by

the opaque clouds

of forged laughter—

a serpent

constricted by etiquette and religion,


shedding through cracks in the wall,

bitterness curdled in your veins.


Shawn R. Jones





6 Responses

  1. Lala Rukh says:

    Vacant look in Grand Ma’s eyes before she died… wow that was scary and heart touching. Love your analogies… Love the way you have expressed your heart wrenching sadness.

  2. shawnrjones says:

    Hi Lala!

    Thank you again for stopping by! This is not an autobiographical poem, even though it is written in the first person. lol

    I am honored that a writer with your talent is enjoying my work. Keep blessing others with your gift!

    On my way to your page now :}

  3. It is really beautiful to witness the bitterness blending with sweetness through your poem. It was a sheer delightful experience reading it. I loved the rhythm and the story weaved.

    • shawnrjones says:

      Reva, thank you so much for your encouragement and comment!
      “…bitterness blending with sweetness…” I love that phrase!

  4. Mortimer says:

    Shawn, What was your motivation for the poem?

    • shawnrjones says:

      Hi Mortimer! Thank you so much for stopping by and please forgive me for responding so slowly. I was experiencing some technical difficulties.

      I was inspired by a sermon I heard. A Pastor was actually speaking to her congregation. I took it and ran with it 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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