Claire: The Darkness of January

The albatross is a potent symbol in literature, but as seen here, dead due to the ingestion of a crazy amount of trash, it is an even more potent one.

I am trying to find a poem. I’m suffering badly from PMS today and can’t retreat as there are things and people to tend to, but I want to put some of the thoughts down anyway.
I know it’s dark as it is, but that’s the nature of these things, isn’t it?


We fall into habits, and sometimes out.

A kiss before leaving every morning, at first spontaneous,

thrown lovingly my way, a gentle peck on the cheek.

That was then, the old marriage, and somewhere along the line,

the kisses stopped coming.

I mourned each kiss then,

but it’s not something that can be brought back

once someone chooses to withdraw it.


After days of wearing each other out,

winding and waiting after another fight

in the new marriage,

a gesture: a hot water bottle filled and warm in his spot

for when he comes to bed.

We are gentle now, delicate and wary,

and when he says he will know the state of my love

by whether the bottle is there,

I wince,

remembering the old leavings.

He is teasing and present and means to hold me.

But I think, the gestures cannot become things that we must do;

they cannot be something owed,

to prove love is still there.

The gestures change, and it is right that they do.

Yet they become messages, signs, roads toward or away;

they cannot help but become so,

weighted as they are in the rituals of familiarity.


As I lie tucked into the warm spaces

of a shared bed and love,

this is what I wonder about the albatross,

dead and rotting with trash spilling from its guts:

Which was the piece that killed it,

and how did it feel to swallow each one before it,

taut and sharp with its bright plastic poison?

Is it fortitude that keeps it seeking more?

Or folly to keep foraging when inside,

hard and pinching warnings shift and slide?

This entry was posted in Claire, Relationships, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Claire: The Darkness of January

  1. Kristen R. says:

    Glad to see you posting. I have felt so unmotivated and burnt out, just can’t seem to find a routine now that the daily part if this is done. I’ll get there — hopefully we all will. Sorry you’re blue. Have you tried your light?

  2. wwwmama says:

    I’ve tried the light. I think this is my usual PMS day made worse with winter and not enough me time. Painful though. You’ll find motivation. We needed a break.

    • kristen R. says:

      We did need a break — and I I’m finding I’m putting pressure on myself to still keep running. What I need to do is take the week off and not think about it. That’s my plan this week.

      I hope you get a little me-time. Is Monday a holiday for you at school? Can you do a mini-getaway? Hope so… Stay well, friend.

  3. khpixler says:

    Sorry, I missed this. I was checking everyday until things got a little out of control. I need to post this week. I have so much to fill you all in on. I miss you both. I am feeling very burnt out too, more than I realized. I have not put any pressure on myself but tonight I went out to take some quick pics of a pretty foggy sunset. I will post them soon and catch up on my chaos:)
    Claire, I hope you PMS has passed and you are feeling a bit more like yourself. The poem was stunning. I was impressed that you actually came out of the gates with some great work. I feel like I need to rebuild, my base is gone. I need a little inspiration. I think I might have just got it:)))

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