beneath the surface

Flash Fiction and Poetry by L. Michelle Harris

I Have Learned

I have learned to take my time with a poem.
I know now not to rush my emotions
Forcing the feelings out too suddenly
Storming through my pen and
Raining hastily onto the page
Without taking time to feel the pain
Taking time to be pissed off and
Taking time to feel joy and be
I know how to allow a thought to be private
Just long enough so that I can represent it well
In a word.

I have learned not to fear white space on a page.
Sometimes there are no words necessary
Or no words available
Or no description adequate
And it’s okay
To wait
To take my time
To hush my soul
And let the feelings drip slowly
Like blood
From the end of my pen.

I have learned to take my time with a poem.
I know not to rush the quiet expressions of my heart
And to just sit still with a feeling
Until it wants to become a word
After word after word after word.
I have learned to take my time
And there is always time for a poem.

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