The clock
Each hand making another round
Counting down each hour we waste
Metronome
A hollow attempt to keep pace with
The minutes we can never replace

They say
Our time is borrowed
But to whom do we owe?
The keeper
Of an arbitrary construct, social by design
Pays no mind to how we spend it

These seconds
The ones we take for granted until they have passed
Are gifts until they are weapons
Once taken
We can not reimburse another
For the time we have stolen

Our days
Though precisely measured, over and over again
We lose track and not a single cost can we retract
How foolish
We are to give permission to anyone else
To carelessly mishandle our limited supply
Of moments

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Harsh reality is that
I never really was living
Just longing for warm memories of the past and wishing
That I had a chance to shake things up
Right the wrongs, adjust my projection
And reach for a star-studded upcoming

But that dream was never going to materialize
As long as I continued to act as pillars
Supporting glass ceilings that were built for me and now
I’m tired of peering through the window
That I’ve been fogging up over heartbreak after heartbreak
Each time I watched that glass become reinforced

I’m giving up the reach for those white fluffy clouds
And leaving the window for someone else to clean
Letting go of the looking up and now
I’ve got nowhere to go but forward

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Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

My favorite kind of person
Is the one who
Listens to the song all the way through

A pause. A breath.
No questions, no comments
Unresponsive to incoming texts
Someone who will sit in the calm while
The music walks the talk

My favorite kind of person chooses their words
Slowly and carefully
Imagining the curve of each vowel
With every rounding of the lips

A pause. A breath.
Instead of a desperate attempt to fill
Space with meaningless chatter,
They reach only for space
To offer each period more weight

So when the question arises,
“What does love look like for you?”
I will sing very softly:
“It’s the one who listens to the song
All the way through.”

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A poem about her unruly

Photo by author (Jennifer Lyn Bartlett)

Keep her wild

Pump wind beneath her wings
Watch her work as she coils the world in her web
Collecting beauty at her feet

Leave her untamed

Give her
Space for her branches to reach
Open sky to feel the sun and the moon
Oxygen to breathe life into her green
Water to quench the thirst of her root

Yield to her unruly

Allow the threads of her essence to unravel
Witness how the radiance of her spirit
Eclipses the moon and you will be reminded
That life is for the living

Offer room for her to wander

Encourage her soul to roam free
For when she returns and has blossomed
You’ll find that her unabridged love
Is all you’ll ever need

If you’ve enjoyed this, you may enjoy another poem by Jennifer Lyn Bartlett on P.S. I Love You

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To Whom This May Concern

It’s only at 6 am that you can hear the dead
Quiet, blanketing your feet and inching it’s way
Down into the drum of
Your ears

In those moments,
The soft thumping and dull roar of running appliances
Are mistaken for
Last night’s thoughts

I should be sleeping, in fact,
There is no point to heavy eyelids
With nothing in your schedule on a Monday morning

But perhaps this restlessness is keeping me awake
If only to pause the cramping of my stomach
And finally release the venom to say:

I live on a cemetery and there is
Still more life in my backyard
Than what you have residing in your heart

Photo of and by Jennifer Lyn Bartlett (Author)

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