Semblance of A Blissful Life

Semblance of A Blissful Life


Raindrops hang heavy in the belly of darkening clouds. The world tilts,

leaves a gaping hole where the sun stood amid plump vapors of the uncloaked

summer sky, now a fugitive hiding from the impending eventide, a tight syllable

painting the delicacies of astral beings, disconsolate within their tenuous tombs.


The symphony of crickets and frogs does nothing to mend my weakness.


I sit, sleepless.


Knots of restless memories curl my fists. My tongue struggles to push out thoughts

wrapped in despair, but, again, my attempt to vomit the poisonous words fail. My hair

is snarled from hardened hands braiding threadbare, splintered strands. My bones,

brittle from years of hollow silence. My face gaunt, pallid, drawn, conceals horrors

I cannot unsee, unhear.


I sit behind a pinched smile and false pride and complacency.


Mother insists I am a masquerade of fragility, saturates my sorrows with morning

dew drops to cleanse away the unease of her guilt. She has altered me into puzzle

pieces, worn thin with tattered edges from flawed, fragmented ends forced together

to pull wide a smile —  mendacious, discordant — when she has company.


My longing for reprieve grows weary in her desperate, pleading eyes.


I sit as night falls; a crow lingers on the tree branch outside my bedroom window, utters

a harsh cry as my eyes settle on him. He caws at me, berates me for my façade, my happy

charade, my quietude beneath the nervous, fixed gaze of Mother, but I am breathless

from efforts to imitate a semblance of a blissful life, incapable of speaking truth as she

sweeps away the residue to preserve her perfect world, her smile feigning an existence

absent of cruelty, dismissing misery like a broken twig on the path she keeps well manicured.


I sit to conceal the abhorrence holding my taut grin in place, my thoughts in a straight

line, my anxiety tacked to the walls in my throat.


Thunder cracks open the stillness of night. Lightning spoils the gossamer energies

of days lost. Rain smacks the window like beasts pounding their breasts, streak downward

like string instruments in an orchestra, create shadows of the bars in a prison cell. The chaos

of the storm is where I find my comfort, my stronghold against a lifetime of protecting

the enemy in combat. The black eyes of the crow consider me before he retreats (with shrieks

of loathing) in search of shelter and honest company.


J Snow

J Snow is a poet and author of psychological thrillers and tales of terror. Her work has been described as disturbing, visceral, haunting, and powerfully evocative. Snow primarily concentrates on short stories and poetry and has been published by Hellbound Books, Horrified Press, Zombie Pirate Publishing, Nothing Books, Anthology House, Sirens Call, The Horrorzine, and several more but has recently shifted her focus to creating her own literary journal, Blood Puddles, to help foster the growth of others in the writing industry.

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