Talk about ghosts of the past. I found this poem biding it’s time in my drafts folder while I was looking for a creative piece of writing. It’s for an anthology that Catalyst are putting together this year. The anthology looks like an exciting creative project.

Can I share a secret with you?  I’m a wee bit nervous about posting this poem.  See, I’ve posted some poems in past. However, this is the first posting of any very personal poetry that I’ve written.  And I’ve gone and written one about love, of all things!

Well, this poem is unpolished. It’s raw. It’s unsophisticated.  I tidied it up a bit when I reread it.  And yet, I think I want to keep it in this form. I keep being reminded of how much I love poetry for being a medium to express emotion in such an honest way.  When I read it now, it takes me right back to the moment when I wrote it. I was trying to work through some issues *laughter* – there’s an understatement – of an unrequited love and an unresolved relationship.

Perhaps, you’ll empathise a little with the pain too.


Time has rewritten the history of you.
You are no longer the hand that squeezed my heart
And gripped it, tight.

In fact, my face turned blue
And I felt nothing, for 5 years
I felt nothing. Comatose.

How did I describe it before?
Ah yes. Like I was frozen.
Not all of me.

Just that part of me that falls in love,
And notices the little cobwebs that grow around one’s eyes.
I wanted it to be
someone else’s eyes.

How can I explain it?
Like my heart had been put on hold. A pause button
You pressed.
No, I had let you press
When I couldn’t let go of that idea of us.

Get it?
Pretty good effort from an asphyxiated girl.

Reprieve came with your questions.
Those shock pads that you jollily jumped me with.

(See. You had claim to my frozen heart.
But my lungs were mine and had just been sucked of dreams.
Gasping. That’s when you shocked me.)

It’s summer and there’s somebody else.
He may not fancy me.
But I don’t care. My heart is free from you.

We’re crossing paths again. And,
Suddenly, you’ve become this figure in my future.
And in 30 days when we meet

I want to be “just friends”.
I need to dismantle “us”.
I wish I knew how this poem ends.
I want to know how this poem ends.

Time had written you out of my heart.
But I’ve found the ghost of you lurking and

I don’t how to –

Keep the cold out.

Published by

Han-Na Cha

English Language Teacher, Academic and Personal Development Skills Trainer, Baker.

2 thoughts on “Gasping”

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