Day thirty

I first shared this self portrait on the blog back in 2006; I’d been blogging for all of six months and was still grieving. I’d started learning how to use Photoshop, as evidenced by the heavy-handed editing, but beyond that, this photo reminds of how I felt back then, of how i’d only just begun my own unravelling journey. I was thinner back then too — i hadn’t grown myself back yet.

It was a surprise to stumble across this photo this morning — the poem that accompanied it speaks volumes to me:


When I’m dead and buried, or
thrown to the wind,
someone will read these words  –
a daughter perhaps, or a son maybe  –
but these words will live on
further, harder, than me.
I could leave messages today
for the prying eyes of tomorrow,
word-gifts to comfort them,
their mother an enigma who tested
and tried, who fought her battles and
surrendered in the end.
Will anyone care that these words exist?
That today I caught the coach back
from London and ate two fried eggs
on toast sat in front of the TV;
what will this tell the family I do not yet have,
my darling future children?
What will it tell them about their mother?
That once she was thirty-three and
tired and hungry for a better life,
a different life, uncertainty clouding
her view of the future, as it
does for us all; my children
will know this by then, I’m sure,
by the time they read these words –
these words I wrote today
thinking of them.

17 responses
  1. Andrea Maurer

    WOW! That is a fabulous poem, truly fabulous! My favorite part… “I could leave messages today
    for the prying eyes of tomorrow,
    word-gifts to comfort them,
    their mother an enigma who tested
    and tried, who fought her battles and
    surrendered in the end.” It’s lovely. Thank you.

  2. ellie

    i love day thirty. such a wonderful post. this poem is good for me right now Susannah. thank you for sharing. i feel as though i’ve got a glimpse of what you’d share with your children and it is pretty special. x

  3. Betty Thompson

    Susannah, as a mother and one who knows the grieving impact of loss, your poem struck home powerfully and emotionally touching my heart on so many levels. Your a beautiful person and I thank you for your beautiful work and words. May God bless and keep you well. [big hugs]

  4. jane (faerian)

    thank you Susannah

  5. Chloe

    I remember stumbling across your blog then and reading your words, so very touching, it has been so wonderful to see your life since then unfold and blossom. x

  6. Jesa

    Such a lovely poem it brings tears to my eyes. I have not yet experienced the loss of a loved one but my heart aches thinking of the pain you have endured. It’s amazing the wonderful things that life has brought your way to keep the sun shunning down on you.

    Many hugs!

  7. Jesa


  8. Alicia

    Wow, such a nice poem. Thank for sharing it. Sigh…

  9. Nina

    Is that poem your own?? I love it. Perfect match with the photo, too. Needs to go in one of your books if it hasn’t already!

  10. Melissa Jaine

    Beautiful one – I want to wrap my arms around those words and around you – your past you and the current you. :)

  11. Yeti

    Beautiful, beautiful poem x

  12. Evelyn in Oregon

    Just wanted to tell you how great it was to participate in August Break this month! It was a challenge for me, but a truly enjoyable one.

  13. Kelly

    I have loved seeing the world through the lens of a camera since I was a child. This 30 day challenge was more therapeutic and uplifting than I ever would have imagined. It had me “focus” on all the good we sometimes just don’t take the time to notice. Sad to see it end. Thank you

  14. Nina

    *shining* :-)

  15. Gayle L..

    I wish I didn’t “get” your poem. I wish none of us really ever had to understand. And yet without the loss, without the knowing, without the wondering how we will survive there is just very little wonder.

    I’m older than you, we’ve never met, and yet I am one of the children to which you have given birth.

    Heartfelt thanks,

  16. susannah

    okay, that made me get teary – thank you Gayle xo

  17. Kathryn

    wow, Susannah, these are such heartfelt and beautiful words.

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