Poetry Thursday: Unmoored

stickers saying "adrift" affixed to some wall/object

Every now and then, you become unmoored.

You will not notice the moment of release.
There will be no fanfare
to note the event
as you float out to sea in your sleep,
no streamers,
no teary farewell waves from shore,
no bottle of champagne
cracked across your bow.

You will simply wake up one day,
staring at a random item from the toiletries aisle
missing your exit on the 101
reading the same line three times, badly,
trying too hard
laughing too loud
crying too easily,
and realize not only that you feel wobbly
and weird
and a little pissy around the edges,
but that it has been a long, long time
since you touched real ground.

Here is the thing
to remember:
the moment you notice,
you are back.

Not back and hale, perhaps,
not back and fixed,
back and firm, but
back, baby, BACK.

You start again now,
breathing once,
three times.
Someone turns the sound back on,
ranchero music, the axe-murderer ice-cream truck,
Marco! Polo!
Somebody cues the scruffy dog
with a bead on that squirrel,
somebody else
throws something on the grill a block away.

And here you are again,
10 and 40 all at once,
you are you,
you are alive,
you are moving across the Earth
under the sun,
you are a million miracles made whole
right this second.

Welcome back.


Image by PinkMoose via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Oh, this–this is balm today. I just heard that a dear friend has been in a devastating car accident and is in hospital, unconscious.

    “You start again now/breathing once,/twice,/three times.”

    That rhythm of return.

    “You are a million miracles made whole”

    May it be so.

    Thank you, Colleen!

  2. After going out on a string of lackluster dates, that’s exactly how I feel… adrift– and have to pull it back in, realizing I’m starting again, now!

  3. Such good words that I needed to day. Especially the part about not knowing that you are unmoored, the lack of fanfair, etc.
    That’s a place I know pretty well.

  4. I want to come live with you. I want to soak up all your yumminess and become a better person. You’re just so freakin’ GOOD at saying shit….. Oh, and I’m totally not a lesbian, in case you were chalking my admiration up to that whole thing ;-)

    Don’t ever go away!

  5. “you are a million miracles made whole
    right this second.”

    I have been back for two whole days that I have been aware of… thanks for sharing your gift.

  6. Hi Colleen,
    I can totally relate to feeling adrift right now. Drifting between, as Chris Guillebeau would say, “the real world and the living world.”

    Thank you for the imagery and I echo everyone by saying “you are a million miracles made whole right this second” is spankin awesome.

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