loss of innocence

Innocence Lost

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Life Lessons Poems, Poems about Death

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©2019 Susan Noyes Anderson

Image by Shraga Kopstein on Unsplash

At best, you lose your innocence in layers.
Mom’s handwriting shows up on Santa’s card.
A tetherball turns traitorous and clocks you.
Your brother locks you out of your backyard.

The puppy licks your face, chomps on your finger.
A well-fed goldfish floats atop the bowl.
Your best friend giggles when the bully mocks you.
Small things, and yet they bruise your tender soul.

But youth is on your side, and life is shiny…
so shiny that not every bruise is seen.
The sun and moon and stars all hold their places.
The sky is ever blue, grass ever green.

For some, their innocence bleeds out so slowly
that they are saved from knowing it has gone.
The transient pains, the hopeful prayers unanswered,
leave just enough of good stuff to dream on.

So dream––of innocence, peeled off in layers.
Hope on––that you avoid the tidal wave.
It crashes down in wild and roiling breakers,
lays bare the virgin heart you cannot save.

You sink into a sea of deep emotion,
hit bottom, scrape along the ocean floor
and struggling for breath, fight for the surface,
immersed in fears you never knew before.

But fast or slow, rogue wave or gentle journey,
the perils we all face must be revealed.
We did not come here for control or safety.
Only the broken spirit can be healed.

God’s plan endures as we do. Carry on.
Life knocks us down so we can find our feet,
reminded that our Savior walks beside us
and humbled to repeat…{regroup}…repeat…

until these days of learning are complete.


Coming off my son’s birthday last month and headed toward the first anniversary of his death, I am processing a lot of feelings about my loss, including the loss of sweet ignorance of how deep and unrelenting a wound can be. Thanks for bearing with me as I try to write some sense into all of this. it is good for my soul.

God gave us the gift of life. It is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. 

Life is hard for everyone. That’s why there’s such a nice reward at the end of it.
Aidan Quinn

Find more of my poems about death, loss, and grieving here.

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