When I was four feet tall
I believed I was immortal;

that knives
could not scar me

not drown me

not taint me

not weaken me

not change me

break me

and that strength
would never fail me.

I was confident I would shape
a sensational destiny.

Yet I am mortal after all.
No ogres quake at the sight of my face,
no lame man walked.
no blind man saw.
no orphans were fed,
peace was not restored.
I was somewhere else,
someone less;
not the giant
of my idle fantasy,
only a wind-blown flake, adept
at making a mess.

I do not scream
or beat my breast
yet I bleed.

I bleed.

I scrub at the seepage
but it will not come clean,
leaving an indelible stain
for posterity.

In recompense,
the forgiving flowers of my womb
grow over my stain,
creating a fertile garden
with fresh running streams.

They illustrate
that my bungled life
has not been
a waste.

Although this poem doesn’t contain to the wordSequester‘, it was inspired by today’s Word of the Day Challenge. I was going to give it the title ‘Sequestered in Fantasy’, since that is a good description for the way I was as a child. However, that title doesn’t suit the poem.

©Jane Paterson Basil

24 thoughts on “Mortal

  1. Looking back and thinking how we imagined life would be and how it actually turned out … Well, it can be a painful process. Progress is so much slower than you imagine it will be, achievements are more of a slog and their are barriers wherever we turn – often from ourselves as much as from others and the world. Beautiful, touching piece Jane

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No more guilty of dong that than me. I’ve missed out on many opportunities because I’ve thought ‘I can’t do that. I don’t do things like that.’ It’s a miracle I started writing really. Girls who grew up in Buxton and worked in retail don’t write … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It helps getting older I think – I would never have considered some of the things I’ve done (entering big comps, sending work to magazines and agents) when I was younger. Too scared of failure perhaps. Now I’ve survived failures and know I won’t succeed without them

            Liked by 1 person

              1. You’re right, I think it has. Bloggers are so supportive of each other and writers often work in a vacuum. Having a support network is very important, though it takes a while to make the connections. The other half was approached by a work colleague who’s been told I write, asking advice on how to go forward with a novel he’s written. Make connections is one of the main things I’d tell him – even if only online, meet like minded souls, people who’ll love your work but also try to give you honest opinions. How can you improve otherwise? Thank you for your support dear Jane x


Thank you for dropping by. If you have any thoughts, questions, treats or cures, you're welcome to drop them in the comment box.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.