The Ghost of What Might Have Been

Linking with the Sunday Muse for Muse # 182
hosted this week by the stunningly talented poet Shay!

The broken heart is broadest. ~Emily Dickinson


In dreams my heart is a raven

free and distant like the stars

the haunting that regrets hold

 is loose like running wolves always are

I don’t fear the fall nor the sharp edges that cut to bone

I can see beyond the broken glass

I hear beyond the moan

yet in life lost is a sadder place

than a fallen forest or abandoned church

it is emptier than a drunk man’s bottle

and more painful than giving birth

for among the fullest branches

are the broken and the wild

regret loss and disease

each have memories like a child

 So is it the things we cannot remember?

That haunt us to the core

Or is it the memories we cannot forget?

That haunt us even more.



  1. I expect it is a mixture of the two. Your piece ties in beautifully with the image, Carrie.

  2. Lovely metaphors. Beautiful write.

  3. For me, it is the memories I cant forget that haunt. This is beautiful, Carrie.

  4. "for among the fullest branches / are the broken and the wild" Oh my yes. So good.

  5. Oh this is wonderful Carrie. And yes, those we cannot forget are the ones that haunt us more.

  6. This sends chills down my back.

  7. So many good lines in this, Carrie, and such vivid images:"the haunting that regrets hold/ is loose like running wolves.." I love that, and the way the poem winds in and out through the dark forests of our lives, raising our fears, showing our most desperate strengths, and posing questions that, like all the most important ones, have only an ambiguous answer.

  8. Very fluid flowing down the page, Carrie. I like the shape of your poem also, it's a vessel, and oh what it holds. Favorite lines:
    "for among the fullest branches
    are the broken and the wild"

  9. Carrie, I am impressed with your description of the "heart" in understanding it's feelings, the wolf will lead my group. In choosing for your final question posed I will take the "the memories we cannot forget" as the others are out of mind NOW. May I never be reminded of those I have forgotten.

  10. This is haunting Carrie.
    Luv your superlative images " like a drunk man's empty bottle."

    Happy you dropped by my blog


  11. I recently learned of the Portuguese word "saudade" or "sodade", which has no direct English translation, but which is apropos here - a longing for someone not present, who may not ever be (again). The rhyme and cadence bring even greater potency to your pen ~

  12. Those last two lines really have me thinking. Wonderful, Carrie!

  13. Or is it the memories we cannot forget?
    That haunt us even more.

    Love the beautiful metaphors! Yes, Carrie, those constantly in memory reminding us,
    are the frightful ones. Great close, Ma'am!


  14. Oh, this speaks to me right now. Beautiful, haunting poetry


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