June 21, 2022

The Space Where You Once Were

Anonymous

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PoetryThe space where you once were,

This is a poem about unrealised hopes. I wrote it following one of my first placements as a student midwife. Disappointment in my study life, the constraints of the pandemic and petty social and romantic rejections overtook my optimism. I felt defeated. I was struck by how an unrealised ideal could manifest itself in such a physical sensation. It seemed paradoxical that an absent imagined future, that which had not happened, created such an acute and heavy feeling. How could a negative state, by its definition deficient, lacking, weigh me down? It reminded me of the concept of negative space: the idea that the space around an object is significant. Negative emotion is like that; a gap between you and the desired object or state of being. In this poem, I wrestle with the gap. I try to make peace with disappointment through articulating its power and its emptiness.