“Inaccessible” by Connie Woodring

I was afraid of my abusive and controlling ex-husband,

but I didn’t know this until 10 years after I divorced him.

I wrote hidden poems, feelings hidden. Hidden in notebooks I placed in college textbooks we

never discarded.

To describe him, I wrote “Oh Captain, my Captain,” and “in a lone body of water he gargles

as he commands, and the fish blink at the glitter of his medals.”

When I divorced him, I wrote, “Staring for once into united darkness now, and the fence around

the battlefield is able to be leapt over with coordinated swift two step, no marching gait here.

Monotoned enemy stumbles over the new key and pitch. He does not know the two-step,

the two-step?”

To describe endless disappointment: “…finding only a Lilliputian season in the solace

of summer leaves, gone so lightly soon, singing, so suddenly gone.”

And passion/love/ sex: “A chemical soup that gets slurped while hot and gagged on

when tepid.”

To save my soul, I do not write hiddenly anymore.

No more references to Greek gods or Sumerian Goddesses. 

No more unused words like “gouache” or “lempira” or “xylotomy.”

I shy away from metaphors and other disguises.

I am not afraid of publishers who say, “Show me, don’t tell me” or “This is too prosaic.”

I am at peace, and like death, my poems are a bit boring.


Connie Woodring is a 76-year-old retired therapist who is getting back to her true love of writing after 45 years in her real job. She has had many poems published in over 35 journals including one nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize.

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