Painting by Françoise de Felice


A sickly smear of an old bruise
coloring the confessional
my sin is not trusting in God
my contrite heart is my sin
if I live through this bellum perpetuum
it’ll be my Maker’s doing, not mine.
I’ve nothing left but a sloppy note
stippled with day-old milk
left in archipelago on kitchen counter
and a sweltering cling of
berry-stained seersucker
girls in curls who need me,
but not this.
I see the trajectory of my life from its start, a firework dud.
Fire up the next one and hundred
shoot for the stars(truck) reflection
of our superlative-curving nature
I never thought it’d end like this.
What would it be like to be one that shone transfixing the crowd in unanimous “Ahh”
illuminating their own vast potential?
But “You are goddamned replaceable.”
I lie burned out in the dark grass.
I never thought it’d end like this.
I never thought it’d end like this.
I never thought it’d end like this.
I never thought it’d end like this…


©2018, Amaya Engleking



  1. Lona Gynt · July 16

    Oh Amaya… I am transfixed… And your words always make me go “Ahhh,” yes even this painfully dark poem, but this is an achingly beautiful poem. I am praying praying for you to live, Please don’t end your time here, I have met you really just a short time ago but value your raw beautiful open honest powerful Spirit, you are God-blessed irreplaceable. – I am sorry you are so tired, hang on hang on, oh hang on. I am grateful for you. Lona.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 17

      You are a dear friend. I just feel for people who die by suicide because that feeling of being a burden to everyone around you is, if not real, so painful to endure! I don’t think it’s selfish, just sad for everyone involved. Thank you, Lona.

      • Lona Gynt · July 17

        It is painful. It is a profound sadness to endure and to contemplate. Your writing is simultaneously both so powerfully precise and descriptively luscious it pulls me right in to it. Thinking about the sadness surrounding suicide has actually saved me from it. I wrote about that here:

        It is a lengthy tome, but it is also wordy, but may be of some interest. Be well. Hugs! Lona.

        • Lona Gynt · July 17

          AHHH yes, I see now! I saw the post before I saw your dVerse Prompt. This all seems more clear now… (feeling sheepish seven times seven… but I got your back as best I can!

  2. peterfrankiswrites · July 17

    This…’a sweltering cling of / berry-stained seersucker’… is fantastic among many…such as… ‘a sloppy note / stippled with day-old milk / left in archipelago on kitchen counter.’ Writing that’s marvellous, imaginative, transporting…free. Bravo.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 17

      I wanted to allude to islands with those sad milk splotches. Isolation. Thanks so much, Peter.

  3. m lewis redford · July 17

    this is familiar – but it was just the arc and sputter of what it was thought you should be (by the parents (maybe), the employers, certainly society, even oneself), the marvellous and empty (of expectations) and pure-natured ‘you’ continues on, oblivious to the whole lifetime that happened because you didn’t get in the way with your ambition and you did get in the way with your love; thank you – this has helped clarify my own glaucoma

  4. stolzyblog · July 17

    Stay. Continue to begin.

  5. Frank Hubeny · July 17

    Nice line: “my sin is not trusting in God”

  6. Maggie C · July 17

    The line .” be one that shone transfixing the crowd in unanimous “Ahh” made me envision a rock star, but then you add “illuminating their own vast potential.” Ahh, much, much better than my imaginings.

  7. kim881 · July 18

    I’ve felt like this too, Amaya: ‘I see the trajectory of my life from its start, a firework dud’ and asked the question ‘What would it be like to be one that shone transfixing the crowd in unanimous “Ahh”. Well, your poem gets my ‘Ahh’!

  8. rothpoetry · July 18

    Aw, but this is not the end? You will look back with great nostalgia on those curly headed children and the mess will all disapperar. You are right you will not make it only on your own will power. The desire for the limelight is only a flash in the pan… no lasting sustenance in that!!

  9. Grace · July 18

    I admire the energy and “rant” and I hope we never end up this way. Every line zaps it for me specially with this line that pushes one over the edge:

    “You are goddamned replaceable.”

    Thanks for hosting this challenging prompt. Enjoy your vacation.

  10. Mary (tqhousecat) · July 18

    So often I feel like that firework dud! Painstakingly raw and, I surmise, stems from the reality you embrace. You are loved, loved, loved. Don’t let voices tell you anything else ever. Your words are a gift to many. I should have such vocabulary! I should have such feeling? No, we are given who we are and must know it is enough!

  11. annell4 · July 18

    …and isn’t it the beauty of it all? We never know “it would end like this”….loved your write. I don’t believe for one minute you were a “dud”

  12. katiemiafrederick · July 18

    We are all Born we all
    Die A MeaSure oF
    A Real Man and
    or Woman
    is the
    And how bright
    it burns to shed
    Love on others when
    LiViNG everything else
    is meaningless to me but
    Oh Lord How Being Financially
    Independent can and will so
    much easier provide an
    to the
    A PaPerLesS heART..

    Oh yeah.. Thanks For
    This Prompt Love
    It Works For Me Free..:)

  13. Just Barry · July 19

    God damn if this doesn’t hit close to home… my goodness this is so powerful, empathetic, and tragically accurate.

    Pardon my conceit, but it’s as if you read right through me. This is brilliant.

  14. Harry Miller · July 22

    girls in curls illuminating Her own vast potential

  15. Nitin · July 26

    This is painful but so well written

  16. lancesheridan · August 15

    Amaya, your work is stunningly beautiful- each word, each thought a symphonic movement. Superb!

  17. canach · September 2

    Have felt like this. Thing is when you’re a mother, you’re not valued by anyone on the outside, but to your family, you are everything and irreplaceable. Sometimes I need to remind myself, though. There should be prizes for Mums, not the supermums who’re juggling work and kids and a hundred other things, but for ordinary mothers just keeping on going. All the best with the young family. Remember not having a minute …

    • Gospel Isosceles · September 3

      Hi friend, thanks for dropping in. I know life hasn’t been easy for you either. A prize for me would be to just feel good — and that I’m doing God’s will. That my kids will look at me and think, “Yes. I love you. You reflect who I know God to be.” Is that too much to ask?

      • canach · September 5

        I’ll say a prayer for you. I can identify with some of these feelings. Three small kids is full on with very little time for personal development. I worked with two small kids, which was exhausting, and I was quite happy to stop working when the third came along, especially since I felt I had achieved what I wanted to workwise. All this helped me to feel that I was doing something valuable bringing up kids even if I was ‘unseen and unpaid’. What got me, though, was when I put a lot of effort into getting back to work (youngest in school) and one of my kids got seriously ill and I had to stop working again. I have really struggled with not feeling self-worth if I amn’t working, and realising that all things come from God whether we seem to earn them or not. You’re doing a job of incredible value by bringing up kids and one day wider society will realise the value of motherhood and parenthood. Until then, we just have to encourage each other 🙂

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