Unsurvived Life


“One can live without having survived.” Carolyn Forche



“You’ve been living in a dream world.”

–Morpheus, to Neo;

The Matrix


I didn’t survive the second birth certificate. They killed me with official typeface and fresh signatures. Now, I live—shadowed within a new name. The un-memory of my only bottle feeding by my birth mother drives my ceaseless, silent scream. I sometimes join it to the panicked quiet of this second-name identity. Like when I hear Mom scream my new name—at three in the morning.


I am the unseen fire, filling every uttered syllable of every song and poem “I” write. I am the perfect storm of an unsurvived life that lives nonetheless. Don’t ask me for my name, for there is power in it. And I won’t give mine away.


Experience me, instead, shadowed within my new name. Try not to shudder.


Veterans Day birth…

“Saint Martin of Tours,

pray for us…”



for Real Toads’ Poets of April, imagined by Susie Clevenger

#GloPoWriMo2018 / #NaPoWriMo2018  22/30


NaPoWriMo 2018




22 replies »

  1. A powerful write…it is a story that shouldn’t be…but my Son lived it too. How to fill the holes, the emptiness? The answers are hidden under tote bags of diapers, my name was on the second birth certificate, and my love was given freely…still it is hard.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is much passion in this write. The angst of being “reborn” without choice, feeling the only power (which is considerable) is in the silent name. I’m reminded of “say my name, say my name) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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