If it exists; it remains out of reach. 

Dodging, twisting, racing, shrinking away I had it once upon a time – true love. 

Or so I thought – ripping, shredding, tearing It left me – completely. Alone in the dark. 

Believing once of Faith, Hope, Charity, Love Virtues often lauded within sacred text. 

A knight in shining armor – no, mercenary With twin rapiers strapped across his back My virtues stripped and laid bare – sprawling – lifeless – Left for dead. 

Stretched across the un-sodden earth; 




And he with his unsheathed, 

bloody rapiers; thrusting; carving away pieces Taking what he owned. 

Festering – fibrous cancer – all that remains Broken – battered – beaten – barren – betrayed. 

Faith: belief or trust in the unseen – 

trusting love exists. 

Without my shade – the rapier’s senseless sacrifice – My compass lost – 

True love out of reach – the rapier’s cost. 

Broken; soul to soul, I heard your voice – a plea An echo of my own – kindred spirit – unknown A seed planted – kindness sprouted 

An echo back to me. 

What was it that you said? Or was it how you said it? Feelings long buried sprung up – reaching – grasping Rootless – shriveling away.

Oh troubled heart – not free to love another 

Tethered to lovelessness – longing to break free. 

My soul, trapped in its cage of bones 

Fingers clasped tightly – ribs aching, cracking. 

Lungs restricted; labored breathing – shaking. 

You looked at me – my heart leaping from sorrow into hope dragged back down 

The pit – so dark – so isolated – lost – alone. 

You draw near – I hear the ebb and flow of your breath Your warm embrace imagined; my head resting on your chest. You speak – I watch – curious – lips; are they soft? Your tenderness; your caress – my broken heart – beating. 

I sit staring at the rapiers on the wall – sheathed – There they remain. 

Afraid to pass them and cross the threshold 

To the freedom and release; 

out there; somewhere. 

You, the beacon, in the darkness, leading me, 

Beaconing me – shackled where I stand 

And you – out of reach. 

Imagined – your touch, your caress, your embrace. Iron chains; in your place 

And you – unaware. 

Holding my shade. 

So with the dagger drawn from between my breasts With a single cut – I remove the pain – 

rising away on ethereal wings; 

Yet, you remain. 

Another cut – fueled passion; flames and dies – ash and cinder scattered across the night skies. 

Yet, you remain. 

Once more – grasping; your lips and hands out of reach – cherry blossoms flung away 

Yet, you remain.

Cold, unyielding steel against my flesh 

A sigh escapes my untouched lips – a whispered “please” Acquiesced, relinquished life. 

Still, you remain. 

I marvel at the gaping wounds, where flesh and sinew meet Crimson beads, slowly rising 

Tears flowing – washing – welling up 

Love’s well-spring overflowing; 

You remain. 

You, my soulmate – never knowing; 

Cradling my shade. 

I retrace each cut a little deeper – 

a little longer – stinging. Hoping to cut it all away. 

Pressed against the skin – I drive the silver blade – leaving its white shadow. Releasing; lifting – flesh falling away – beautiful scarlet lines revealed – All that remains. 

Muscles contracting and veins weeping 

Through blinding tears I see. 

You remain: 

Forbidden, unrequited, my love. 

My Shade.



Beneath The Trees 

For one bright year it was just me and thee 

        Playing beneath the apple and pear trees. 

Along came another so bright and fair 

        Teary, glassy, blue eyes and dark brown hair. 

Little mothers to be beneath the trees 

        Learning to love, nurture, snuggle and tease. 

Another year together, me and thee 

        Playing beneath the apple and pear trees. 


Seasons and places change for me and thee 

        We still find time to play beneath the trees. 

Picking each peach and plum found at our feet Washing, slicing, so sugar sweet to eat. 

        What once was three becomes four and then five Our little home, buzzing like a beehive. 

Another year together, me and thee 

        Playing beneath old deciduous trees. 


Yet time moves on beneath all ancient trees 

        Who, lonely, wished to be near me and thee. 

Ancient, the black walnut rests on the hill 

        Swaying and bending with each little shrill. 

The rope drawn taught as we clung to the tires Our gangly legs reached higher and higher. 

        What once was five becomes six and seven 

Two precious spirits from spires of heaven. 


For many years it was just me and thee 

        Dancing and playing beneath the palm trees. 

They stretched high above us touching blue skies Until I found him gazing in your eyes. 

        We witnessed vows born of a love divine 

Both your hands, commingling and intertwined. One last moment it was just me and thee 

        Before you left me beneath a lone tree. 


Years passed without the company of thee 

        I think of you beneath my citrus trees. 

Alone, you raised your four and I my three 

        Who played and laughed beneath our separate trees.

Again time moves on beneath the ancient trees Who, lonely,

wished to be near me and thee. 

Another day will pass for me and thee 

        One standing, one sleeping beneath the trees.



Man’s Nature 

From Peer Gynt’s Morning Mood 

        And Debussy’s Claire de Lune 

The morning sun upon my back 

        And midnight’s moonlit shadows lack. 


The warmth of day and chill of breeze Bring

pleasures mixed and to my knees The chill of

night and rhythmic seas Remind me to ever



The sun, the moon, the breeze the sea

        They were all created for me. 

The road, the track, the path the gate

        Man bade us nature hate. 


Light and life doth nature bring 

        Of such things my soul softly sings. 

Industry shrouds the day and night

        In ashy veils, a dreadful



Biographical Note: Rebecca A Hyde Gonzales is a senior at CSU Channel Islands studying English and Art History.  While her poetry reflects different moments in her life, she has been influenced by the works of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, and Emily Dickinson.  She is also driven by the desire to share messages of truth.