“Shopping on a Saturday Afternoon” by Jennie Hope Meres

They walk out of the store as I’m tossing groceries in my car
I never noticed before, I never looked before
I just never saw what I refused to be me before
And somehow I missed it
because I had it for a while; the sunny smile,
the hand in mine
I didn’t need to notice the other people at the store
As I watch them walk across the parking lot,
hand in hand –
I notice them now, I see them now;
her laughing at something said, him looking back
bringing their joined hands up to
her face to brush against her cheek,
pushing their grocery laden cart with the kids walking behind;
arguing as siblings do
For a minute I thought it was me and,
for a second,
I forgot to remember
that that only used to be me and I knew how it felt;
I knew how it felt to be that
And I looked around and realized I hadn’t noticed before,
or maybe
that I just refused to look before,
that I just didn’t see before
I just never saw that just wasn’t me anymore,
just a ghost of the me before
And I watched as they packed their bags in the car;
laughing and talking
And the kids clamoring for attention;
an impromptu tickle fight buckling them into the car
The children’s squeals of delight cut through me like a knife
Her laughing as she climbs smiling into the car
And for a minute I hate her,
for a second I want to warn her to take care
She just may not notice before,
maybe she just won’t see before
a ghost of the her before –
walking out from a store, catching her off guard
while tossing groceries in the car
Realizing in a minute, knowing in that second
that she never noticed before,
she never looked before
she just never saw what she refused to be her before
and somehow she missed it
and it just wasn’t her anymore

~ Jennie Hope Meres, via The Voices Project

“Many Any Ones (Two a.m.)” by Jennie Hope Meres

How can it be that someone with so many any ones
can feel so isolated and abandoned
You know they can see you,
but more a ghost of you–
like something inside of you,
the essence of you,
is invisible to your many any ones
The deep down of you is misunderstood
or worse, simply unknown
and you’ve become nothing more than a phantom
of yourself and only exist as
what you’ve been deemed to be
by your many any ones

How can it be that someone with so many any ones
can feel like a ghost haunting their own life
An inanimate being drifting
in drafts
and between cracks of thoughts of how
you are seen through the eyes of your many any ones
And you wonder how it came to this,
how you became this ghost in the photograph
where you don’t recognize your own face
Yet it must be you because she wears your smile
and has your eyes but
somehow it is not you and you know it’s not
but they demand it is who you are
Yet your soul screams and your heart bleeds the truth

How can it be that someone with so many any ones
can feel so isolated, abandoned
with dusty dreams
that the many any ones don’t even know exist
And when you grow out of the ghost of
all you’re expected to be to become what you should
always have been–
how can it be the many any ones seem so shocked,
dismayed, that you’re not content within
your determined role in their life

And sometimes,
at two a.m.,
when you’re less alone then
when you’re surrounded by your many any ones
you have to wonder how you lost everything
you were. Where this hole in you came from
Sometimes at two a.m. you have to admit
you made yourself a ghost,
you thought it was best to shell yourself out
remove what may not be for the best of the many
any ones
And you have to question,
how you thought haunting your own life
could be best for any one

How can it be that I, with so many any ones
could isolate and abandon myself
and still claim I loved my many any ones
with everything I had,
gave everything I could
when the best parts were buried away
and a ghost took my place within
photographs and

~ Jennie Hope Meres, via The Voices Project