Fall Away

No one sees the sun the same
some notice shadows     some the glow
floating in between damask curtains
lenses pinpointing the here     now     today
maybe some regard its power as a threat
fretting ultraviolet     infrared     gamma?
mamas mostly     smearing white chemical
wool over the backs of their babies
seizing any chance to capture time but
what their children will do later     wander
     certain days skipping school on beaches
     reserving time in a tanning bed
     red arms blistering after a road trip
flip the safety switches off and
band the mamas who can only watch their all
fall away and hope their children return


Constructive feedback—both positive and negative—welcome. I’m posting this early on in my writing process just to get back into posting regularly again. Interested to know your thoughts on the subject of the poem.

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I am a writer for an e-Learning course vendor near Chicago.

9 thoughts on “Fall Away”

  1. I thought the formatting in the first half was really successful – it brought to mind light peeking through curtains. And I love the last three lines, the way “switches” recalls the light imagery and how much feeling is packed into the last two lines.

  2. Hi Nate. Your words, as always, are beautiful, but the formatting didn’t let me find a rhythm, which didn’t let me get a sense of connection throughout. Perhaps that was your intent, like a day that is too hot to think, but maybe not.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Claudette. Yeah, rhythm is a challenge in this type of poetry form because the rhymes are right up next to each other instead of at the end of lines. I’ll have a think on what might improve that. Thanks!

      1. I like that you are so innovative with your poetry, I just haven’t seen this style before (I’m pretty conservative with mine). You have to write how it speaks to you. 🙂

  3. I love the formatting you chose with it. And I’m glad you’re back.

    I loved the visual imagery that your poem offers, but I’ll be honest – I have no idea what it’s about. I still enjoyed it anyway, lol.

    1. I meant for it to be about how someone can put all of their compassion and care into one person/idea such as teaching a child that the sun can be both nurturing and harmful at the same time, but they eventually have to let go of the responsibility and hope they were heard. But, yeah, it’s not in there yet.

  4. I have to admit I had to reread this piece a few times to understand even a part of it (I’m a bit simple-minded). I think there were a couple of echoes that weren’t quite right, maybe I say words differently than you now. Hah but mostly I was distracted in a good way by the formatting. It was an interesting style choice and worked without being gimmicky. Also I love your words. I need then in my life more. 😉

    1. Thanks, Melony. Yeah, gamma/mamas isn’t quite right. But aside from the intentional off rhyme of same/some, the rest check out to my ear. Maybe read it in your most exaggerated Midwestern accent?

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