RSS Feed

“Still Standing”

 
Feeling that tingle again, she shifted her feet—
feet that screamed for her to flee, running fast from
whomever, whatever was watching.
 
But acorns don’t choose where they fall, and
trees spring up growing tall. No matter how
chaotic their branches bend, they simply stand.
 
Still.
 
So she stood, gingerly
twirling too-short-cropped-hair,
eight inches cut off, no longer there.
 
Ponytail gone; no string to hang on.
Leaves loudly scraped pavement,
driven by winds that could not move this
Little Red Riding Hood, who simply stood.
 
Still.
 
 
written for Magpie Tales #108, Monday Melting #8, Real Toads “Open-Link Monday,” and dverse poets “Open-Link Night”
 
image by Uzengia Aleksander Nedic
Advertisements

51 responses »

  1. Feeling that tingle again, she shifted her feet—
    (frozen, but swaying from side to side slightly adjusting her weight distribution, afraid to make any sudden movements; she’s felt this intuitive warning before)

    feet that screamed for her to flee, running fast from
    (I love giving body parts the ability to function outside the normal realm; feet screaming at feet, the mind screaming at itself, voices we often choose to ignore for whatever reason)

    whomever, whatever was watching.
    (she’s unsure, but stalkers/killers typically know their victims in advance, track their every move for months)

    But acorns don’t choose where they fall, and
    (she can’t control where she’s ended up, who she is, what kind of
    acorn she’s become … even though others might assume differently)

    trees spring up growing tall. No matter how
    (all children become grown-ups, stand tall outside even if not inside)

    chaotic their branches bend, they simply stand.
    (she’s lived a rough life; sometimes all she can bring herself to do is hold herself up, keep going through the motions, even if she’s motionless)

    Still.
    (love “Still” on its own line twice, standing still and still standing)

    So she stood, gingerly
    (I like double-using words by letting them hang at the end of a line, particularly after the comma; it allows the mind to envision it applying to both the word before and the word after … she stands gingerly, and she gingerly twirls her hair … this girl is barely holding on, so the last thing she can handle is fighting off an attacker; is she even willing to try? I don’t think so, since all she can manage to do is stand still. Also, she’s not even attempting to run. Perhaps she’s thinking maybe she should just give him and let her kill her. Is she even worth fighting for? Is she even worthy of a life? Wouldn’t it be easier to just disappear, even if it takes a bit of temporary pain.)

    twirling too-short-cropped-hair,
    (just cut off, reaching for familiarity in nervous anticipation, anxiety forcing her hand to places and things that no longer exist; she also feels cut short, that there’s too little substance holding her together, she’s a wisp of a thing, almost lighter than air … or hair)

    eight inches cut off, no longer there.
    (lengths of hair gone, years gone, childhood pain perhaps aged 8; that’s when she was cut off from this life, this race of people walking, running, racing through a life she’s barely part of; hardly even there)

    Ponytail gone; no string to hang on.
    (hair gone, childhood gone, innocence gone; her ribbon was lost in the shuffle, others taking what they wanted, this new predator about to take the last fragment of her essence as well; she’s got nothing left to hold on to, nothing worth fighting for, least of all herself)

    Leaves loudly scraped pavement,
    (she’s disengaging from the fear, noticing the motion and sound; only dead leaves, light, pressed upon by a heavy wind would make a scraping sound … a mirror of her existence, barely there and dead, all things surrounding tossing her about, she uncaring)
    driven by winds that could not move this
    Little Red Riding Hood, who simply stood.

    (although the wind could move her soul, her body somehow stands strong despite the emptiness and lightweight nature of her insides; still a little girl, still helpless against an attacker … this girl was abused and has given up; I think the only control she has left is to decide to be overtaken rather than to be taken by force … in this, she has one last choice she is actually allowed to make)

    Still.
    (from beginning to end, from eight years old to eight inches of hair, her whole life still wrapped around the abuse and now coming to an end in the same way)

    Reply
    • Wow…I’m honored that you have taken the time to explore several layers to this poem, and give your analysis. So much of what you see is what I had in mind, and then you add much as well. Love that you can do this with any piece of poetry (or other writing). No wonder I’m so fond of you! 😉

      Thanks for bringing the prompts to my attention, and for making me feel like it was worth the time to respond to the prompts. 🙂

      Reply
  2. I know you like it when I break it down, so there ya go. 🙂

    Reply
  3. there is something to be said of standing still, or standing, still….smiles….love the little details…the leaf scratching….

    Reply
  4. These are my favorites:

    “acorns don’t choose where they fall”
    “Ponytail gone; no string to hang on”

    And then the use of “still” in the title and elsewhere, the double meaning.

    Reply
  5. Wow love your poem!!! Last time I did a search on poetry all I found was some teeny boppers melodramatic sillyness lol. Thanks for checking out my blog so I could stumble across yours! Can’t wait to read the rest of your poems!

    Reply
  6. Wow! I never had such an image of Little Red Riding Hood before. Great work!

    Reply
  7. It never ceases to amaze me what varied and wonderful poems grow from a handful of words. Enjoyed this and the comments that followed. That Shawna is a delight. Some brilliant, appreciating guy ought to snap her up and nurture that color changing flower. 😉

    Reply
  8. I really enjoyed this! Besides the little girl at risk scenario, I looked at as the internal battle of the physical with the spiritual, like in meditating. Fighting the fear, fighting the thoughts and trying to be still.

    Reply
    • Wow, I love your take on this. It’s amazing all the different interpretations & layers that can be found in poetry, and I really enjoy reading what people see in different writings. Thanks for your visit and comment!

      Reply
  9. There’s power in a ponytail…

    Reply
  10. sometimes it’s just the right thing to stand still…then there are times to move..not always easy to decide though…love the layers here..

    Reply
  11. Ahhh, a woman who cuts her hair is transitioning deeply.

    Yes, quite a bit of tension and mystery in this, reeled me in.

    Reply
  12. well folks… I have just found a new favorite poet! SOOOO happy to have came across you in the Pub!!!! I am following!!! This is good stuff right here now! 🙂 LOVE!!!

    Reply
  13. Very nice capture of the prompt…I specially like this verse:

    So she stood, gingerly
    twirling too-short-cropped-hair,
    eight inches cut off, no longer there.

    Reads like there is more to it ~

    Reply
  14. Cool piece, very nicely done. Love those individual word lines, using still as both a stopping point and a springboard, and leaving the poem with that word works great. Thanks, really enjoyed.

    Reply
  15. Wow – very impressive how you’ve woven so much into this and answered several prompts while doing it in this well-layered and nuanced poem …

    http://thepoet-tree-house.blogspot.com/2012/03/fog-at-dusk-is-crowded.html

    Reply
  16. LOL Little Red Riding Hood -> who would have thought!!!

    depth of field

    Reply
  17. standing still and still standing – it’s an amazing and very clever poem. I love its intricacy.

    Reply
  18. Here are this week’s words, sugar pie:

    lily
    doubt
    flip
    yes
    helix
    grief
    later
    cane
    how
    maple

    Reply
  19. Love the rhythm of this, and the fairytale quality.
    And especially this line:
    “No matter how
    chaotic their branches bend, they simply stand.”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: