Poems For Secure Attachment

A few of my favorite poems demonstrating important aspects of attachment wounds.

Also I discuss the idea that only long lasting relationships ought to be considered successful.

The Poems :

Every wise man I met in Asia warned me against caring.

Explained how everything I loved would get old, or be taken away and I would suffer.

I tried to explain what a bargain it is.

— Jack Gilbert, Nights and Four Thousand Mornings

Failing and Flying


Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

It’s the same when love comes to an end,

or the marriage fails and people say

they knew it was a mistake, that everybody

said it would never work. That she was

old enough to know better. But anything

worth doing is worth doing badly.

Like being there by that summer ocean

on the other side of the island while

love was fading out of her, the stars

burning so extravagantly those nights that

anyone could tell you they would never last.

Every morning she was asleep in my bed

like a visitation, the gentleness in her

like antelope standing in the dawn mist.

Each afternoon I watched her coming back

through the hot stony field after swimming,

the sea light behind her and the huge sky

on the other side of that. Listened to her

while we ate lunch. How can they say

the marriage failed? Like the people who

came back from Provence (when it was Provence)

and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.

I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,

but just coming to the end of his triumph.

The Abandoned Valley | Jack Gilbert

Can you understand being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the well
so you could feel something down there
tug at the other end of the rope?

Diary Entry #31: Attachment Disorder

By Diannely Antigua

Maybe I’m not a mystery: I look
for the father in everyone. Come home
and hold me, I say to the exterminator
of all life. I point to the earth
where I’m told duende lives. I point
to the fog my shame has designed.
It is thick and joyless, a soup of ghosts. I’ve been sad
for too long. For too long, I’ve been
the kid who needed someone else
to buy her a meal at Bickford’s. I order
too much and apologize like I’m dragging a big truth
from under the cement slab in the yard,
my little dog finding the gopher hiding in the dark,
then whipping it in the air by the neck. Spin,
girl, spin, they say, the men who don’t love me.
And the truth? I believe in hell not heaven
because I only know how to perform
a burden. To cling is to build
an altar of collected things: this broken
crayon, that dull knife, another stained shirt.

One thought on “Poems For Secure Attachment

  1. I appreciate how you use poetry to convey some of these ideas. And this type of work is what we’ve been doing — the attachment work — is all poetry. Co-created poetry, moment by moment. And we have the ability to be that little tug at the end of the rope in the well; planting a seed that it is possible that they might be able to be seen and valued in this life.

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