Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash

That’s Where She Is

Lauren Phillips-Freeman
2 min readMay 21

I look backwards so much because that’s where she is,
some things are so obvious it takes years to perceive them,
I lament the passing of the years because each one sweeps me
further away from the time when she was here, so to those
who have questioned my tendency to live among my memories,
here is your answer: I look backwards because that’s where she is.

The only problem is others are there too, they stand in a line
upon my life’s stage, all those who left me in their own ways,
she is front and centre as she has always been, flanked by
her own mother whose spotlight she shares, and I must
do my best to keep that light trained on them, but sometimes
it wanders, illuminating the faces of those I’d rather keep in shadow,
the guests they never asked my permission to bring.

All you forward lookers, I congratulate you, may all your
losses be timely, may your lineup of leavers be small, but understand
that she anchors me to places, people, a period in time
more firmly than any acting force ever could, for that is a
chain no tool can break, nor would I wish for one.

So when you are baffled by my reluctance to relinquish the
relics of my childhood, to stay put in the here and now,
remind yourself of this: I look backwards because that’s where she is,
it’s a wrench to tear my gaze away from the place I know I can
find her, although I know I must if I am to live as she would want.

Lauren Phillips-Freeman

Lauren Phillips-Freeman is a language teacher and writer with a love of words in all their forms. She uses writing to help her process her own tangled emotions.