two poems



I know the feel of road on skin, the consciousness of speed

that’s never rush enough,

the edge tracks lead to

and the train crash in,

that free fall down

                   the rabbit hole

                   and no end,


Of climbing back through

all I had become:

a darker element,

that other one,


Of facing yet again

my parent, son,

daughter, spouse

I abandoned

  for the crack house.


And I am scared, God,

scared of what’s ahead.

I’ve backtracked every mile,

distance measured

not in time or place,

but by annihilating stasis.


Now upon this crossroad

every way I turn – a mirror.

At my heel the small,

uninterrupted deaths I chose,

At hand the future  

every impulse in me wants to flee.


Sometimes it’s just a shadow

or the light that etches out the trees.

Sometimes I see its face –

my own – staring back at me.


And though I form its bones

and breathe its breath,

it seems a wounded animal

I want to love – outside my reach.


But, God, I swear this time –

    this time –

I will go slow towards it,

tame and feed it every day –

just a bit –


until it follows me

around like the sun,


until it sits beside me

in the moonlight

quiet and calm,


and the shadows in the sparkling water

show a paw and hand –

until we blend –


The same when,

spinning in the wind,

I take its shape, I bend –

the leaves, my soul, the air – one skin,

some circle in me left unbroken,


or a broken circle that

by entering  

                        I mend.


 mirror and rocking chair 

sometimes i hear music

so entrancing       ​i am beautiful

so magical     ​i am young

so mystical      i am wise

           ​ i hear the music so powerfully

           ​ inside me i believe what i see


even looking in the mirror

my face        ​a broken eggshell

skin​​              soured yellow

eyes sponges​        brown with tears

       ​ i see my soul beneath the pores

         ​ rocking in a light oblivious

​​           and singing

Sheila O’Hearn is a Canadian poet, whose work has been published in numerous Canadian, US and British literary magazines [most recent: the Ottawa Arts Review, Ottawa; BAC Street Journal, Chicago; and Chum, New York]. Her chapbook, The Insatiate, was published by Burning Effigy Press, Toronto, in 2005. In addition, she has been a featured guest in countless poetry venues (Toronto). A scholarship recipient, she graduated from McMaster University’s English Master’s Degree program in Hamilton, Ontario, and works as a writer for several newspapers and magazines.


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