Four Wishes

By Tamara Raidt

I once received four brand new wishes, wrapped up

in my postbox. It was some new company’s stunt

with one-year free trial. I read the instructions carefully:

one for each season; one year to be fulfilled. I took

the first one and wished myself happiness, health and

blooming in life. I wrapped it in a leaf and left it hanging

in a tree. The second one was for the summer. I wished myself

success, balance with things and discovering new parts of me.

I stuck it to the stomach of a turtle in Costa Rica and watched it

vanish into the sea. Then came autumn. I wished myself strength,

battle in disease, hope in despair. I wrote my wish inside the peel

of an orange that I left drying by the fire. The last one was

for the winter : I wished myself darker moments, tough decisions to

make, filled with regrets, and lots of failures so I would get the chance

to learn from it. I buried this one deep under the snow. I whispered it to

a snowman who kept my secrets warm under his coat. One year

went by. I searched the earth for my wishes. But the tree was dead,

the turtle was gone, the orange peel was missing, and the snowman had

melted. No more witness to my wishes. But they had left behind :

four shy seeds ready to grow. The free trial was over. I put them in

a cozy box with a little blanket for the ride and handed them to

the postman so they could wander the world, through places where

they would be most needed.

My sponge heart

is full of other people’s emotions.

My sponge-heart is extensible for

            every problem to fit in.

 

Three days ago, a colleague I had

only met for two of three coffees

            killed himself.

 

I grieved like he had been a part of

my family, like he had been my lover

            for a lifetime.

 

I am thinking of him in a bus teeming

with strangers and I try to imagine

            their lives.

 

Most of them look sad and I am sad

for them, I am sad for me because

            I am part

 

of those strangers, so does it make

me a stranger myself? I spend

            so much time

 

with myself and then I don’t even

know me. I spend so much time

            with special people

 

who have special hearts, then they

leave and I didn’t see it coming.

            I couldn’t leave

 

even if I wanted to. I couldn’t live

barefoot on a beach, away from

            the world for

 

I need to tell the reasons why to

the ones I have: why do I love

                        you?

 

why are you different from the pack?

So this man whose name now

                        I know

 

he might’ve had a sponge-heart

with enough space for every issue

                        of the world.

 

And then again, he couldn’t have

been living barefoot on a beach

            away from the world

 

because the world was in him so

how do you escape the things that

            grow inside of you?

 

You don’t escape. You either

grow with it or grow apart.

            But growing

 

apart is still growth, walking away

is still being in motion, a sponge-

                        heart

 

is still a heart, maybe not

the strongest one, not the one

            you fancy the most.

 

It’s the one you’ve been given

to face the world, to embrace

            the wonders

 

scattered on your path.

Because a sponge-heart has eyes

                        and it sees

 

its own things on the side of the road

that were forgotten to be called

            beautiful.

Tamara Raidt

Tamara Raidt

Sunday Writers' Club member

Tamara, born in 1998, comes from a multicultural background: French is her mother tongue while German is her second language. She grew up on the countryside in France, near Lyon (South East) and lived in a few countries for her studies: from Germany, through Austria to Scotland, where she currently studies Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh.

            She has been writing since her childhood. Her first poem was about slugs that went ice-skating. Now she is writing about nature, introspection and women and their experience in society. She also writes short stories and has tried a few times to write novels in French, even though English remains her preferred language for poetry. She has published a bilingual poetry collection My mind on a chalkboard in March 2021 and her poetry has appeared in Rattle Poetry, Variant Lit and Vita Brevis.

Your can read more of Tamara’s poetry online here:

Variant Lit, “The ladder I won’t climb”: The Ladder I Won’t Climb | Variant Literature

Rattle poetry: “Self-Doubt” by Tamara Raidt – Rattle: Poetry

The Drabble: Endless Quest | (wordpress.com)

 

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