Back Then – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

This poem is in response to the Pandemic Haibun Challenge that’s currently underway in the publication, A Cornered Gurl via Medium.  Thank you trE for the opportunity for shared reflection.

Noticings are always within reach if your eyes are open. A friend’s phone call, text photo, or cherished smile from six feet away can keep your cup from emptiness. Yet eventually days bleed into one another, months lose their borders, leaving Mondays indistinguishable. Where weeks fall like dominoes. Small routines within repeated walls lead to smaller and smaller thinking. Loneliness swallows you into the basket of its belly. Where over time depression feeds itself with handfuls of separation. It blindfolds your eyes so slowly you that you forget that sight has been lost. You stop moving, reaching out your arms. Until one morning’s shock of sunlight reminds you there is a world beyond this box called myself.

love went missing in

a forced experiment of

awakening us

© Alicia Grimshaw 2022

Without reflection there is no opportunity to learn. 
What have you learned from the pandemic experience?


25 thoughts on “Back Then – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

  1. I agree whole-heartedly with the following: “Small routines within repeated walls lead to smaller and smaller thinking…until one morning’s shock of sunlight reminds you there is a world beyond this box called myself.” You expand our hearts and minds through your words, Ali.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my, Magarisa. I am touched by these words you have mirrored back to me. Thank you. My hope is that if I share bravely it will open doors between us and both of us will feel lighter.
      Wishing you all good things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting to witness the pandemic as a distruction or deconstruction. During the pandemic I made more connections around the world and within a few miles from home. I would not have embraced your poetry circle Ali 🙏.
    I was no longer rooted to the local and was given permission to expand and explore.
    There is indeed a letting go … especially if we have been locally focused.
    This can be scary and disconcerting. Yet live prompts us to continue to grow and expand our awareness.
    I am grateful for what life continues to offer, despite the challenges and resistance that show up in these times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Val,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. I have no doubt that each of us experienced this pandemic period differently. I have often thought of people who kept our communities working, like in hospitals, who faced extreme challenges that I never dealt with. I am gladdened that you could experience this time as an opportunity to reach and connect from afar. I am most certainly grateful that you have attended my writing circles. It was my creative response to build connection during a time of separation. I can’t believe it is still happening.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali, this honest reflection is likely in all of us to one degree or another. Any who came through unchanged, unscathed or untouched, even deep within, might have been so distracted and separated from self, that the missed opportunity may not have been all that was lost. We are mirrors to each other, human to human and the pandemic created an opportunity for us to see ourselves. Broken hearts can mend. I’ve seen it and am experiencing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Your words describe perfectly how I feel about the destruction of the flawed construct that was our world, Ali – months lose their borders really resonates, it’s hard to believe it’s November already with another challenging year in sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reflecting back to me how you experienced this poem. In doing so we can both feel less alone. This is exactly what keeps me sharing when I feel vulnerable about sharing my poems.
      I hope you have your eyes open to what can fill your cup today. You just filled mine.

      Liked by 1 person

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