The Bridge – Candice Louisa Daquin

The hypnotherapist did not believe

people existed who could not be hypnotized

it was my hope I would not become that statistic

though my penchant for placebo or letting go

was rather weak

I sat in his comfortable chair, a scotch blanket

on my knees as much as anything because

if ‘under’ I didn’t want my body on display

this little office, the smooth voiced man

not sufficient to pretend safety can be taken for granted

maybe that’s one reason I cannot when he

counts down and tells his hypnotic story

release, just as beneath you, I find it hard

at times to let go, and dissolve, the two of us

into one.

My mother said she was the same, we may share

a tendency for self-control, an only-child’s

inability to trust or share to some degree

I know she never dropped off or fell asleep

in public just as I would stay awake 18 hours in

Athens Airport when the planes went down and

we all, dirty and hunkered down, made friends and foes

of strangers, killing time without

clean toilets.

My soul has wandered from ugly airports to

strangers become lovers, houses and in-between

pain and joy there have been moments

but none as I felt that year, driving me to the

armchair of a hypnotist with small bronze plaque

beseeching him as I had no-one else left to ask

cure me, save me, make me well

give me back what I have lost

his old man assurance like a gentle balm

though I am not over fond of grandfathers still

I trusted his intelligence and the slight

things we had in common such as Baux de Provence

where in the war he landed and hid

and I later, walked the cobbled streets with bottles of wine

what a coincidence! We both remarked, to find each other

in this strange city of San Antonio

when each of us come from elsewhere and have traveled

the same roads, seeking unnamed things until we stopped.

I trusted that as I kept my

middle eye open

his trained voice seeking my succour

no hands violating, I tried and I tried not to try

to let go and fall

into the words and away from this world

which lately had only been known by pain

the kind driving me to the edge so easily

as if death were always my source

rather than an unknown impulse.

I begged the doctors; Do something, anything

amputate, operate, enviscerate, please remove

this sickness, this pain, before I find myself

opening a high window and letting go

plummeting not because I wished death but

for this to end, halt, stop, be over.

I learned that year I was not as strong as

friends had said and I was three times as strong

as I had thought

still it wasn’t enough

to rid me of the monster

each time I would open my eyes when he counted down

assuming I were coming out of a deep trance

almost wanting to let him believe it had worked

my truth a let down for us both

he continued, the day turning to night

both of us in the darkness of our minds

through this trance I stepped into

his words, not losing myself but listening

acutely for something that could

reduce the madness of my toil

whether physical or otherwise, the mind

is a prison and releasing its bars is necessary

to conquer even the worst pain.

Hypnotist, you told me a story of myself

I am walking along a rivers edge as a child

no-one is with me, I feel alone as I always have

that longing to belong, never existing and as if

you knew that always you tell of a long journey

the weariness and need to stop growing heavy

still continuing as if searching without knowing

for what

then in gentle intonation you describe

a bridge

people on one side of the bridge

they are all the people who have ever loved you

you say

they wait for you they are calling for you

they want you to be with them

all you have to do is

cross the bridge

feel what it feels like

to walk up to the bridge to

see it arc across the divide, to know

there is a way to the other side

feel the emptiness on this side alone

the cries of those who love you calling you over

that terrible loneliness you have carried

for so long thinking, believing you were

without anyone just walking unnoticed.

There they are, all the people you have loved

who have loved you

they are not broken or passed on, they stand

healthy and strong, your grandmothers

are both there, and your one good grandfather

and your parents are too, both of them waving

and calling to you and your childhood friends

the ones who lived for you and whom you

played with and had such unbroken delight

they are all asking you to come to them

they want to be with you, you are not alone anymore

cross the bridge

walk over from one side to the next

leave the emptiness of being alone

trying to be so strong for so long

come into their fold

remember you are loved, you are very loved

you are wanted

all the pain is gone

all the emptiness is fading

step over to the other side of the bridge

follow them as they descend and walk with them

as they step down to the other side

which is not dark and low but bright

and shining.

Hold on to them as they hold onto you

I hear his words, I am not sleeping, I am not

dreaming, I am not in a trance, I am awake

with my eyes shut and through my closed

lids I feel tears begin to pour down my chest

and dampen my clothes I am crying

more than I have cried in years in decades

I am crying for the loss

I am crying for the gain

I am crying because I got used to it and never thought

I could be with them again, in their arms

needed and wanted, crying for the impossibility

the habit of self sufficiency that is so

long lived in and crumbling with wear

crying for the release and then I realize

as he asks me to open my eyes

I realize what hypnosis can be –

not a dream, nor a vision nor implantation

but suggestion, a truth, consider this;

you walked alone, you became sick, nobody

was there for you, so the sickness persists

you are fouled by its permanence, in your sorrow

your sorrow is permanent and you let it be

because you have lost belief that you are

worthy of love or able to stop being alone

and in that moment I knew

I had been dying as I lived

the sorrow had been the poison

and the sickness was just the flower

for a deep rooted grief I had been carrying in

the dark and even as we get sick we

understand the connection between

the bridge of

wellness and health

sickness and not living

as we can live ten years thinking we are alive

only to find out we were not

we can die to be reborn

in the arms of our loved ones

even in imagination, a healing

being able to hold her in my arms and say

I miss you so much, I wish you

were here to love me now, I need you

so much it has not been the same since you died and every day I will

carry you within me, but it will be

as a bloom

not a cancer

I do not wish to cut you out

I wish to hold you within

I looked at the hypnotist and he smiled

because he knew

because he had met me

on that bridge.

 


 

To read more of Candice Louisa Daquin’s work – The Feathered Sleep and at Whisper and The Roar. You can also follow her Facebook – Candice Louisa Daquin The Feathered Sleep.

12 thoughts on “The Bridge – Candice Louisa Daquin

  1. Pingback: Sunday Best: the water beneath – FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

  2. Pingback: The Bridge – Candice Louisa Daquin — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION – TheFeatheredSleep

  3. Oh what a bridge to cross…an incredible poem and these lines rattled my bones….
    “all you have to do is

    cross the bridge

    feel what it feels like

    to walk up to the bridge to

    see it arc across the divide, to know

    there is a way to the other side

    feel the emptiness on this side alone

    the cries of those who love you calling you over

    that terrible loneliness you have carried

    for so long thinking, believing you were

    without anyone just walking unnoticed.

    There they are, all the people you have loved

    who have loved you

    they are not broken or passed on, they stand”

    Liked by 1 person

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