Well, I didn’t know her well enough to like or dislike her anyway.  She seemed kind of lazy.  It’s not like we were close.  We just worked at the same place.  She wasn’t all that, though she tried to make you think she was.  Not much to her, really.  I think she went to my church.  Didn’t she have two kids.  I heard she divorced.  That says something, doesn’t it.  Never did much with her life.  My son knew her boys, and they didn’t stay in touch with her.  I heard she let them do whatever they wanted.  Wasn’t much of a mother either, huh?  What did she do?  Teacher?  I never knew that.  Didn’t she write too or something?  I never read any of it, but I know someone who did and they didn’t remember much about it.  She talked about going back to school.  She talked about traveling.  She talked about a lot of things, but I don’t think any of it ever happened.  No, she never did much with her life, did she.

from one willow a mourning dove
graveyard moon

for mindlovemisery Prompt 2: Fear

and Open Link Night at dVerse

At the end of Church Lane on a cold winter night

At the end of Church Lane on a cold winter night (Photo credit: Lplatebigcheese)

About T A Hillin-Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Haibun, Poetry, Prompts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Fear

  1. mareymercy says:

    Oooh, this is sad, and compelling. Well done.

  2. poojasat says:

    Wow. Love it. Love the way the prose flows into the last two lines and I can read into this as a sort of an imaginary audience/imaginary paranoid dialogue. Love!

  3. thomas peck says:

    Everyone is too quick to judge. We can’t stop ourselves here in the UK. It’s the easy way out. your post moved me. Tom

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I think being judgmental is part of human nature, perhaps learned, but a part nonetheless. It is one of the things I hate most about myself. Thank you for stopping in to read. I appreciate what you shared, and I really enjoy visiting your site with all it’s great photos. Love the puffin in today’s post. How wonderful that you are able to travel (and especially with your family) to so many places. Thank you for sharing as you do.

  4. The 3rd prompt is up now =)

  5. lesliepaints says:

    Beautifully written. I will not forget this piece; a humbling reminder of our own blindness to the soul and path of others.

  6. turquoise is my talisman says:

    Oh my gosh, what a brilliant “point of view.” You’re writing about yourself from the perspective of others, describing your worst fears about what they might think/say about you.

    • turquoise is my talisman says:

      Who is the willow, and who is the mourning dove? The point is that we all are both. So why do we judge and wonder about others’ faults? We are all in mourning for one reason or another. We all hang our heads, fly despite our sadness, and die to the moon each night only to die to ourselves each day. Pain should not be cast on others, nor ourselves. Soft embrace and speechless talk. Those are what we need.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      turquiose is my talisman,
      Got it in one. 😉

  7. You deal with the subject in a respectful and subtle way but the underlying fear is clear as there is a sense of tension that runs through the piece. Makes the reader want to see the speaker and the gestures

    Have missed you hope all is well

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for your observations. They are spot on. I’ve been too busy to write but found a bit of time in the last few days. I’ll visit you soon. 🙂

  8. cloudfactor5 says:

    The last two lines contained the fascinating quality of intrigue for me ! Left my curiosity piqued !

  9. Anna :o] says:

    It is sad that we judge others (especially those we do not really know) in life and more so in death – but that is what we humans do – we set our own stands of what is acceptable and what is not and in doing so, set ourselves apart.

    I guess the fear is that when our lives come to an end – we wonder how we will be judged…

    Anna :o]

  10. Mary says:

    You really set the scene here and carried it through. Yes, chilling indeed, as others have said.

  11. ladynyo says:

    Intriging, this phone chat?….the beauty is in the two lines that end this. That was a world away!
    Lady Nyo

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Lady Nyo,
      It could be a phone chat. I had several images run through my mind as I wrote–workplace, graveside, neighborhood park, store, church, etc. I think ultimately I wanted to indicate that the person died and was buried without mourning and without being understood. I do think I got some of that, but perhaps not as delicately and still clearly as I’d hoped. Still quite happy with it, especially the closing haiku. Happy to share it with you and to read your thoughts.

  12. Chilling … the doom of the dead.. reminds me of Hávamal:
    In translation:

    Cattle die,
    kinsmen die
    you yourself die;
    I know one thing
    which never dies:
    the fate of the honored dead.

    I love the form.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Björn Rudberg (brudberg),
      I think you are the first to identify the subject of the conversation as dead. That, I think, deepens the fear for me. Thank you very much for sharing the Hávamal translation. I’m not familiar with the writer, and in sharing you’ve given me a new poet to investigate. If my writing which seems to be the other side of the coin to the poem you shared, if my poem reminded you of Hávamal, then I am delighted. Thank you for reading and sharing so richly.

      • Havamal is a collection of old Viking poetry and words of wisdom. This one is probably the most important, and it really does not mean that the subject is dead (I think the English translation is a little bit misleading),
        The meaning that I wanted to give was that how people are judged never dies (even if they die), And judgment are passed by every one, and it often just grows. This judgement lives as long as are alive, but it never dies….

        Sorry for the confusion, but this is a citation I grew up with, and of course it means I should do my best as long as I live, but in the end it might not matter.

        • Yousei Hime says:

          Björn Rudberg (brudberg),
          Not a problem. I think I created confusion on my side as well. I meant to say that you thought the subject in my poem was dead, not in Havamal. I appreciate the clarification on the translation though. I felt some of that when I read it, but your explanation revealed it clearly. These ideas march along with the thoughts I had while writing this poem. “Do my best as long as I live”–exactly! I fear my inner critic more than the voices around me. If I am displeased with my own life, I have only myself to blame, right? Again, thank you for sharing.

  13. ManicDdaily says:

    Completely frightening if one were “her” or fearing to be. Well-played. K.

  14. viv blake says:

    I wonder what “she” wrote about those others…..

    • Yousei Hime says:

      viv blake,
      Excellent question! I suspect she is little better than they are. As I wrote this, I sifted through catty, gossipy conversations I’ve heard (fictional and unfortunately otherwise) and fit them to a single entity. Don’t the things we criticize in others often reflect what we fear/loathe in ourselves? Thank you very much for reading and asking the right question.

  15. Wow, this is chilling. Well done.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Your comment hints that you share a bit of the fear I was trying to capture with this writing. I seem to worry more about this now than I ever did in younger years. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  16. This is wonderful! My god I relate to this my social anxiety has certainly held me back in some areas, oddly not with love because then I am fearless lol

  17. Love those last two lines.

    The whole thing just comes together in the most brilliant way.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      The last two lines really do shift the scene, don’t they? I like them too. 🙂 Thank you for stopping in and letting me share them with you.

  18. I so enjoyed this piece!

  19. slpmartin says:

    Oh, this reads like so many conversations I’ve heard…those who do not know…passing judgement on another…brilliant write.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Just so. The prompt was to write about fear. What if all that was said was negative, true or not? Thank you for letting me share the writing with you.

  20. brian miller says:

    wow…i think what was as disturbing as anything is the knowing so much about her…and how too things just seem to fall into place once we know things of people…things we could have seen but did not…for some reason…cool form too…the break out verse in the end adding to the mystery all the more…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      The prompt was to write about fear in some capacity. If you found this writing disturbing, then I’m on target. I appreciate your comment. It is interesting , especially with this writing, to see how subtly varied the responses/readings of the piece are. Happy you came by to read.

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