Friday, February 13, 2015

Cannot Stop It

It sickles out a living
when you're not looking,

takes a piece of you,
leaves a part of it
on you, in certain scars,
you can never shake.

Sometimes it's something
you hope you'll get
to sleep through,
like when the babies
finally keep bellies
full enough
for you to miss midnight--
your circadian rhythm,

But even though
you think
you're ready,
you're not yet ready-ready,
and tend to say,
it's coming, one day,

though you know enough
to know
it's already here.

© 2015 Jennifer Wagner

Title spun from Emily Dickinson's “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.”


  1. if i dont sleep through it i would rather it take me
    away from the world...out in the woods maybe...
    where we can meet together...

    the opening in this, the use of sickle and the whole first two stanzas, solid...its got hook

  2. That which none of us can stop - and seldom even slow. I agree with Brian, a powerful opening "hook" that heralds a haunting and mesmerizing piece of writing!

  3. It is always around the corner, waiting ~ Opening lines are stellar Jennifer ~

    Enjoy your weekend, smiles ~

  4. Hi Jennifer,

    Can you please email me at: ?

    I have some things I want to talk to you about. Thanks

  5. i dunno if i would prefer to sleep through it or rather face it and having time to talk some last words with those i love...though it's not about us to

  6. The surprise of surprise; the surprise of -not being- surprised?

    "when you're not looking ... its already here."
    Nifty, Jenn! _m

  7. Knowing that it's coming is what keeps me going :)

  8. I agree with the above--this hooked me in from the beginning--great opening lines and then you kept me on the line--love this!!

  9. This is absolutely stellar... I just kept reading and every line came up as a revelation .. are we ever ready-ready?

  10. Fabulous! It is always there; but until we are truly ready and willing, it will go unrecognized.

  11. Well, so is always near. We have to accept that, but don't have to welcome it!

  12. I believe that however prepared we might think we are, we are rarely prepared for the worst.

  13. Like Gabriella, I suspect we are more ready than we think… things happen, we wake up and face them, let go of what we expected, be with what is.

  14. I love the ready-ready. No, one never is. As Brian says, this poem has a great hook.

  15. No matter how much we know about it... we still get surprised how powerless we can be before its very existence.. Great write, Jennifer!

    - ksm

  16. I could feel every line of this amazing poem...the last three lines are chilling...

  17. This was incredible all the way up to the closing - and then it got even incredibl-er :)

  18. Perhaps not to be quite ready is best in this case..certainly it will come but i hope in between there is much to be done

  19. We are never ready- Bravo, Jen-and I agree the last three lines really bring it~
    I hope for a lot more light, love and memories before my time is up~

  20. So much in this, I re-read it a few times. Not that it was hard to understand, but maybe hard to confront (as you suggest!).

  21. Oh my goodness!
    Certainly relatable.

  22. I sleep through enough...this I'd rather see...maybe if I knew, I might finally wake up and feel the hunger of life....hmmm...not sure how much sense I've just made, but something to ponder anyway...

    oh...and thank you for the visit...not sure where I've been, only know where I haven't...lost I suppose...not sure if that refers to me or the words.

  23. I'm a flopping fish, Jen - like the others, you hooked me and never let go ~

  24. Excellent poem. It points out the inevitability of death but not in a morbid or depressing way. At least it seems like that to me.


Thank you for your thoughts!