Two Poems – Ivanka Fear

A Photo of Us

I walked by the china cabinet today, seeing for the umpteenth time
the wooden piece that holds our fancy dishes and glassware,
too ‘good’ to be used every day.
And I wondered what we were saving them for.
Just pieces, that’s all they are, of porcelain,
like that doll your grandma passed down,
too valuable for the kids to play with,
worth a small fortune on eBay now.
Just pieces, of delicate bone, taking up space,
like the collectible dolls in our display cabinet
that remind me of when the kids were little —
too breakable to take out, too fragile to hold.
Cut crystal, the glasses sparkling in the light,
never used to toast to our happiness.
Lead crystal, the bowls collecting dust,
never having held anything more than empty air.
And I looked up, way up, to the top,
past the fine wedding gifts sitting idle,
to a simple plastic mug I’d long forgotten.
A souvenir, with a photo of the two of us.
When were we ever that young?
Well used, I’d say we’ve been,
you and I.

My Heart’s in the Right Place

The fall almost broke me.
But you didn’t break my heart.
You held it in the palm of your hand and crushed it
like a dry leaf, your fingers releasing it to the wind.
But my heart kept beating, weakened, yes,
colder, yes, having been in your wintry grip and tossed
like a snowball, breaking into pieces.
But I didn’t allow it to harden to ice.
Instead, I poured my heart out and let it melt
into a puddle as a spring breeze lifted me.
And my heart soared toward the sun.

His heartwarming embrace brought me back to life,
his heart of gold renewed my faith,
my heartbeat grew stronger as we held hands
and walked together through the garden,
bleeding hearts breaking through the cold ground
next to the Everlasting Mix of tulips.
In the heart of summer’s heat,
waves crash breaking down hearts of stone
leaving behind grains of sparkling sand,
and as we stroll as one, arm in arm, along the shore,
my heart skips a beat across the deep blue sea.
For from the depths of my heart, I know
what’s crushed can be even more beautiful —
all it takes is a change of heart.
And so, I fall again.

Ivanka Fear is a former teacher now pursuing her passion for writing. Her poems and short stories appear in Spadina Literary Review, Montreal Writes, Adelaide Literary, October Hill, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Sirens Call, The Literary Hatchet, Understorey, Aphelion, Muddy River Poetry Review, and elsewhere.