Category Archives: Poetry

They Tried To Kill Me

They Tried To Kill Me

They tried to kill me, you know,
with their razor-sharp sideways glances,
stiletto-pointed fingers, poison-tipped scowls.
Tut-tuts, hush now, and the long silence loomed,
quiet in the hallway.
No one ever lingered there, the scene of the almost crime.

Oh yes, don’t look so surprised,
it happens all the time!
Do you really think your parents wanted you?
All helpless and hungry, crying and shitting,
and needing, needing, needing all the time!

“Let’s put it out in the cold!”,
I’ll bet that thought crossed their minds.
“Put a pillow over its mouth and be done with it!”
“Let it cry, maybe it will choke on its own tears!”
… “Let it ROT!”

No more responsibility, no more incessant noise,
no more clothing or diapers or special foods to buy.
“Package it up and send it back! We don’t want it!”
Why, of course they thought that.

Babies aren’t likable, you see;
they certainly can’t carry on a decent conversation,
have absolutely no thoughts on current affairs,
why, they positively reek of helplessness,
and they always want more, more, MORE!
Honestly, it’s exhausting!

“Tell it to be QUIET! Tell it to STOP CRYING!
I can picture it now, the silent scream coming from
their mouths, like in the painting by Edvard Munch.
Messy, dirty, noisy, NEEDY, B O R I N G,
. . . terribly inconvenient.
Need I reiterate?

Blank faces, dull eyes, absent smiles.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before…
“Children should be seen and not heard.”
“Children should be small adults.”
“Children should be less … EVERYTHING … that they are.”
“Stop crying this instant!”

They tried to kill me, I know,
with sneering faces, eyes rolled back in disgust,
lip curled in contempt,
cigarette dangling,
wine glass in one hand,
the other leaving me out
for the garbage men.

(c) Sandi Adams


Unbroken – A Follow-Up Poem

(This is a follow-up to my poem “Broken” from February, a prompted writing by my counselor. It’s not going to win any awards, but if you read Broken, you may be interested to read this.)


Broken as a child
by your hands,
I have spent my lifetime
reeling in the waves
and trying to patch myself up,
trying not to sink,
I thought I was unable
to be enough
for anyone,
not even me.

What I didn’t know:
my body is a self-healing vessel,
and though scar tissue
doesn’t always heal just right
to allow for full movement,
those scars held me together
and have their own special beauty.

Now I come to my life
bearing gifts from my
once-broken body:
high sensitivity,
strong empathy,
clarity of insight.
Gifts that I thought
were horrible flaws,
flaws that I thought
were ugly scars,
from a once-cracked,
but not broken,

It’s a gift to see
beyond the scars,
to see inside
the grey walls of my mind,
and I see that
there are places in me
that you couldn’t reach,
there are things
that you couldn’t break in me
and colors
that you couldn’t take from me.

I can build a rainbow
of color in my mind,
a mosaic from
the million pieces of me.
I can be loving
and I can be loved,
I can laugh,
I can feel
and I can be kind,
I can learn
and I can adapt,
I can forgive
and I can move on,
I can be enough
for anyone,
even me.

(c) Sandi Adams

That Girl

That girl,
she wears her wounds
like battle armor,
stained with mortality.

The world,
it comes through
in black and white,
crisp with righteousness.

That pain,
it is as familiar
as breathing,
decadent with bitterness.

Her living fortress,
promising protection,
is overwhelmed by shadows.

She dreams in archetypes,
in fear and despair,
the hunted and the hemorrhaging,
she always fails before the dawn.

And letting go
is as unthinkable
as the gift of forgiveness,
a deep crevasse with no end.

(c) Sandi Adams



I was a girl
I was broken
by your hand.
Was it like
breaking a daisy?
The ones that grew
up the street,
that I gathered up
in my arms,
but never made it
home intact.

I watched you
break me
from lowered eyelashes,
they swept my cheeks.
Never make a
sudden move,
never show that
I am here.
But it’s true,
I was not there.

My mind
taken flight,
in the tombstones
in the little graveyard
I bravely walked by,
every day.
Fresh new flowers bunched
here and here on the grass.
The dead flowers,
windswept, broken,
cried out to me.

And there,
there was my tombstone,
In my house,
in my bed,
in my fear.
The fear, so reliable,
the one thing
I can always count on.
The flight from
the center to the shadows.

I was broken
in a way that
only a child could see.
I too am a child
since the night that
I took my first flight,
lashes sweeping my cheeks,
frozen in fear.
Loving parents, nearby,
saw nothing,
heard nothing,
did nothing.
There was
no broken glass,
in that soft turn
of the door handle.

Saw nothing,
heard nothing,
did nothing,
failed to see me
a little more
every time,
over time,
frozen in time,
like the graveyard flowers
dried from the crisp night air,
breaking apart into
a million little pieces
of me.


(c) Sandi Adams

Letter To My 15-Year-Old Daughter

Letter To My 15-Year-Old Daughter

no one in authority understands you
or wants to know who you really are
or thinks you can handle things
and/or be responsible

…i thought these things too
and we are/were probably frequently right
but maybe not always
maybe not when the chips were down
maybe we are not as alone as we think

you think i am some “ultra-christian-woman
who thinks you are a dangerous teenager”
but labels are more dangerous than you or i could ever be
and when we label each other
we stop seeing what’s on the inside
and i care about what’s on the inside of you

i care that you can hear me
without your label getting in the way
i am not who you think i am
and maybe you don’t know me at all

i grew up poor
with an alcoholic stepfather
and parental neglect
and sexual abuse
and being smart was my ticket out
and boys were my ticket to love and acceptance
and man i was so addicted to their love
i gave them everything i had
and they tore me apart in my
“love me love me” need

i acted out the part of the good girl
and got away with murder
and lied to everyone
and the house of cards got taller
and taller
but sooner or later, that house falls
and the debris is heavier than you’d think

i live the consequences of my choices
and i am grateful that i got out alive
and able to love someone worthy…
and though i might now thank God,
i once laughed at people like me
and called them foolish pawns,
smarter than that, i’d saved myself
(i’m a fucking genius baby!)

i see the potential of your choices
all the possible futures ranging out before you
and want to grab some of the good ones
to toss like rose petals in your path
and i want to take those bad ones
and hurl them far away

but instead i watch helpless
because you can’t hear me
behind what you think i’m saying
and who you think i am

my experience is worthless to you
can you hear me?

(c) Sandi Adams


Bones calcify and crumble
in the pause between my question
and your answer.

The distances I’ve wandered
laid mile to mile, one to the next,
would circle this small planet.

My fatigue, left out in the weather,
has come home to roost in the eaves
of my collarbones and whisper in my ears.

In my dream,
I tried to save you and failed.
I failed.



I was thinking about poetry and about God


I am in the breath,
In the wind,
In the water,
And the drop.

I rise with the air,
With the sun,
With the trees,
And the leaves.

My cry is to the sky,
To the earth,
To the fire,
And the flame.

I am within time,
Within space,
Within sight,
And without form.

I am who is left,
Who lives on,
Who meets God,
And His angels.

I will sing your story,
Sing your kindness,
Sing your failings,
And your life.

I am the soul,
The unspoken,
The unbidden
And the beloved.


She Needs Me

She works in a sandwich shop at night,
and she cries herself to sleep.
She spends all day at home alone,
then tells me she’s so lonely.
She aspires to be a photographer,
a poet, an artist, a thief.
She’s in limbo at the crossroads,
and doesn’t know who to be.

She screams at the world, reviles her pain,
thinks nobody else can see.
She spits out the cherries along with the pits,
and wonders why she is so hungry.
She needs a boy, or a girl, either will do,
to love her so much they can’t breathe.
She takes what they give her, demands a little more,
then collapses when they leave.

She is a teenager and watching her
is exasperating, frustrating, tiring,
and most of all, heartbreaking.