3 Poems | Sam Hendria

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The End of the Beginning

The switch from a king bed to a twin
Hurts more than the passage through adolescence
In its icy confirmation
Of a love frosted over.

Can’t shake the habit of folding two pillowcases
And reaching for her shoulder in the middle of the night,
Enduring the five stages of grief:
Denial, Denial, Denial, Denial, Denial.

A visit to the children in the morning
To break the news without breaking their hearts
Which is an impossible task
Even for a trained drunk driving officer.

‘Cause once you’ve knocked on that door
You’re past the point of no return
No matter how gentle your delivery
Or kind your eyes.

Though maybe it’s not as bad as all that,
Maybe it was just an overlong honeymoon
And fragmented flesh can still grow accustomed to
The end of the beginning.


One Oreo
Required 30 sit-ups,
60 squats,
90 laps around the neighborhood.

A Richter scale of guilt
Shook the ground of the grocery store
Where the stare from the Quaker Oats man
Bore even more shame than Tony the Tiger.

Seven rolls of measuring tape
Coiled like shadow-lurking cobras
Beneath a bathroom mirror
Accustomed to Medusa.

When she dared look directly
At her aphroditic figure,
She only saw anathema
And collapsed onto the treadmill.

90 laps around the neighborhood,
60 squats,
30 sit-ups,
Half an Oreo and a trip to the trash can.

The Gap

30 days of choreography
Forgotten in 30 seconds
As face grows obscured
By preferred fantasies.

It’s always the lift
That never seems to come together,
Letting go too soon
With excited clumsiness.

Hardly time for celebration
Yet still they go out for drinks
To toast to another rehearsal
In an empty auditorium.

They’ve got the steps down pat,
Memorized the twists in melody
Except aren’t ready to admit
They’re hearing different metronomes.

Applause is deafening every night,
Almost tempting them off the path
Of their ongoing journey
Towards synchronous syncopation.

Sam Hendrian is a lifelong storyteller striving to foster empathy and compassion through art. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, he now resides in Los Angeles, where he primarily works as an independent filmmaker and has just completed his first feature film Terrificman, a deeply personal ode to the power of human kindness. You can find his poetry and film links on Instagram at @samhendrian143.

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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