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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: Reflections and Imperfections ... Family Life!
By Danielle King



in days when hedge bottoms were lush with foxglove and sweet smelling grasses and hawthorn blossomed in gentle showers and summer sunshine
our imaginings allowed free rein, galloping on spirited steed, mane streaming in the wind; our beloved horses, heads carved out of wood with a stick to sit astride
our legs did the running, our playful fancy dreamt up adventure; we could be whoever we wanted to be, race along the seashore by moonlight or trail through dry dusty desert in the searing heat of the mid-day sun; we were free then

in halcyon days long ago

Best mates

through school days, when you knew your sums and I knew my words, we swopped information laughing when others thought us smarter than they were, cheating without conscience but never intending hurt

we were children still.

Absent mates

as we grew and changed as people do … where were you then?
did you feel ashamed to be my friend, trading me in for more sophisticated types to share their secrets with you
secrets of the heart; the sort of things that you only tell sometimes, when you trust

I missed you!

Distant mates

life is short, life is hard … you went your way and I went mine, though on the same path we travelled always
crazy paving strewn with debris, fragments of life and mountains too high to scramble, for fear we lost our footing … yet again and stumble all the way down, you on your side and me on mine

it was a lonely place, in the valley without you

Soul mates …

we were different, our life defined by circumstance beyond our reckoning while people asked how we coped; we didn’t, we were a tangled mess
a tight bundle of raw nerve endings
yet in the eyes of others we were giants, hand-picked by God for the task in hand; made for each other

how could we live such a lie?

… Forever

your hands are cold today as I trace with my finger the network of spidery veins bumping through parchment skin
these hands that have laboured in love for so long now; caring, sacrificing, enduring
did we do enough, was there a better way we should have taken
does the disfiguring scar that is loss ever fade
will doubt always be a part of who we are

these hands, our hands
locked together in God
have been strong enough to survive

life is hard
this side of Paradise!

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This article has been read 338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 07/23/11
There is a lot to reflect on here, and I think you have accurately caught the thinking and emotions of the different growth stages. Well written.
Juliette Chamberlain-Bond07/24/11
I wasn't sure at first about how you segmented your paragraphs with individual headings - but it works.
I particularly liked your paragraph about soul-mates and the challenges you faced together.
Linda Goergen07/25/11
I still haven’t figured out in my mind if this other person was a spouse or merely a close friend, different stanzas made me have different views…but this was absolutely wonderful in its emotional vision!! Enjoyed!
Kim Hamlin07/27/11
Love your originality and your headings, very well-written. Brought back memories of different people in my life, thank you for this!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/02/11
Congratulations for ranking 10th in level 3!