free: a poem

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Alternate Title: The Strangest Poem I've Ever Written (Ever)

Here I sit, with my boyfriend's little daughter. It is late on a Sunday afternoon.

She is 8, and intently focused on her youtube videos about Barbies. The influencers (is that what you call them on a barbie talk show??) are shouting every word.

But currently, I find it charming.

The woman lets out a horrifyingly shrill laugh.

I notice to my surprise, that I somehow I don't even mind - what, I find it funny! - right now.

Because I know something now, that I didn't know just a few short days ago...

I, Eden Wakefield... am free.

I'm FREE!!

Free as a bird.

And all I want to do is share my good fortune, share it with this darling little girl. Run and scream and yell and do cartwheels. I want to shout it from the rooftops!

...But I can't.

It wouldn't be appropriate.

Even if she were older. Even if she were 99.

Nor would she, thank God, even understand.

How could she?

...I would never want her to.

Because my good news, is something most people can - and should - never understand.

My good news is most peoples' AWFUL news.

My good news, the reason I'm free now...

Is that someone died.

More importantly...

He died.

He is DEAD.


Dead, as in, dead.

As in, he wrecked his motorcycle on the side of the mountain, dead.

As in, they said his shoe was lying in the road, across the highway from him, dead.

...As in... I never have to look over my shoulder, again, dead.

And the strangest part, is that I've been free this whole time, and I just didn't know it.

15 years! Fifteen years since Karma came and took her man back from me.

Unbeknownst to me...

And more power to her, too.

Fifteen extra years. Seeing his face in crowds, flinching whenever I'd hear a voice like his...shuddering at the thought of his name.

He was dead this whole, freaking, time. And I didn't know it!!

But I'll tell you what:

I sure as hell know it now.

I sit in this knowledge, content, and dancing on the inside. I smile across the room at this little girl.

May she never truly understand what it can cost to be free.

17 views0 comments