I once knew where I was going.

Had the keys,

had the map,

had the whole damn tricky tap

tap of the tin box

holding my twin locks.

Just like that — let’s go.

But now.


I’m rooted to the spot.

Sticky trickly toffee pudding

caramelizes my toes.

It burns,

it scorches,

it blackens me.

Look, my ankles ooze a night-dark jelly jam and

it chokes the blood from my legs

like a cancer hug sickly sweet.




And it says,

oh, how it whispers in that carcinogenic sugar-love hum-thrum-hum,

“Did you forget something?”


2 thoughts on “Stuck”

  1. There’s so much in this poem and it almost reads like 2 different pieces: lines 1-5 have that sing-song verbal acrobatics feeling to it, and then the narrator takes a turn at line 6, abandoning the rhyme scheme completely for free verse and a more staccato meter. Was this a conscious choice to slow things down (furthering the ‘stuck’ metaphor), or was this written at two different times? Or both/something else?

    Upon first read, I was unsure how the narrator became stuck – was it on an epic quest, like some level in a video game, or something else? But then this line caught my eye: “Look, my ankles ooze a night-dark jelly jam and / it chokes the blood from my legs …” and realized the writer finds her status as self-made. In your tin box with twin locks, are there tools to unstick your stuck self?

    I have empathy for this feeling, knowing it well, and have made drastic changes in my life over the last 3 years or so, and I hope that you find a way to either unstick yourself or find confidence in planting roots so that the pudding turns to water, nourishing the space where you are.

    Either way, thank you for being vulnerable in an online space and allowing us a moment to read your thoughts.


    1. Thank you for your interest! Yes, the rhyme scheme change is intentional. I wanted to capture the idea of skipping, dancing, running toward sunlight only to realize you can’t get to that place. It all flowed out of me one night into my journal pretty quickly, so it is completely from the heart.

      It’s hard to share thoughts in a public forum that you’re not even comfortable admitting to yourself. Thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate it.


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