Icy forbearance
loosely wrapped in feigned concern
all she does is talk

does she even know
her words pelt like hail and bounce
elsewhere, forgotten

this friendship – a lie?
no, a real bond holds in place
the thing they both need

what were you saying?
oh yes, the thing about that
pelt, bounce, pelt, bounce, pelt

but she absorbs some.
her presence extracts a fee.
inflicts her own wounds

pays for her self-care
the need to be needed costs
the price she will pay

coat bunched at shoulders
dark glasses cover eye rolls
she asks the question

is this worth it all?
regular spot in this chair
answers wordlessly


#234 – Presence

Instructions from the challenger:

Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.

To participate:

  • Use any title you like
  • Your response can be words and/or images
  • You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
  • Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
  • Add a link to this post in your response

To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:

  • Add a comment on this post to announce your response
  • Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post

Each week, I’ll list the previous week’s responses at the end of the new challenge. I may also share some on my social media: FacebookTwitterPinterestTumblr, etc.


  1. Thank you for this exquisite eavesdrop, and great usage of both the pic and the word. Welcome to Pic and a Word Challenge. 🙂

    Do me a favour, though, and link to the Pix to Words blog page rather than the wordpress reader page:

    The blog’s theme is formatted to make it easier to read, and it looks prettier than the vanilla wordpress reader rendering…

    … and it doesn’t have my mug staring back at you. 😉

    Thanks again!


      1. Fixed – everything should point to now. Let me know if you see anything I missed. And thank you for your kind words. As with yours, it went a completely different direction from where I started.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, and there you go. Thanks!

        The other function of that, which I’d forgotten, is that it puts a pingback to this post in the comments on my blog, so people can find your lovely post from there. 😉


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