Monday 22 January 2024

Five Poems by CLS Sandoval, PhD


Alexandrine Realization


My greatest accomplishments are behind me

I once was so young and impressive, beautiful

Always moving so quickly toward the finish line

So many people said, “Wow! She’s so very young!”


I once was so young and impressive, beautiful

I had finished degrees in my early twenties

So many people said, “Wow! She’s so very young!”

Champion undergrad speaker and debater 


I had finished degrees in my early twenties

I’m sometimes ashamed I still don’t own my own home

Champion undergrad speaker and debater 

My greatest accomplishments are behind me



Before bed, I


Say my prayers

Look at your shining face

Pet the dog

Reach for your hand

Type just one more email

Gently brush your curl behind your ear

Take a sleep aid

Remember you aren’t there



Missed Meeting


The meadow collects dew all night 

to display it as liquid gems on grass tiaras

The deer sip the crowns 

from the moist ground


Birds swoop toward the open field

Trees surround the meeting spot


She came to meet him here

He promised he would show up

Right here in the break in the wood


It’s been hours and she’s still alone

She shifts away from the tree she has been leaning on

Finally convinced that all he fed her was lies


She fingers the damp grass along the edge of the wood 

making her way toward the babbling waters

As the creek bends away from her

she feels it pull

Maybe she’ll follow


The Conversation that Never Started


She sat, staring out the window.  The fire crackled and danced in the fireplace.  She caught it out of the corner of her eye.  Tonight was cooler than it had been in a while.  She pulled her wrap just a bit tighter on her shoulders.  She knew she was mourning.  Mourning what she thought he was supposed to be.  Mourning what she knew she had to do next.  She considered talking to him one last time, but wasn’t sure if he cared to hear her point of view.  He had asked several times for her attention, but she couldn’t hear him over the rain.


The Path of Most Resistance


My daughter never wants to 

learn her lessons 

the first time


She prefers to 

resist with 

all she has


Fight and insist on 

doing everything 

the hard way


My mother used to tell me, 

You lie when the truth fits better


She’d accuse me of being 



She’d say, You’d rather be right than be successful


She was right all along


I made her life harder, 

but also mine


I see now that it was all 

in preparation for my daughter


The one, 

who just like me,

always takes the path of

most resistance


CLS Sandoval, PhD (she/her) is a pushcart nominated writer and communication professor with accolades in film, academia, and creative writing who speaks, signs, acts, publishes, sings, performs, writes, paints, teaches and rarely relaxes.  She’s a flash fiction and poetry editor for Dark Onus Lit.  She’s presented at communication conferences, published 15 academic articles, two academic books, three full-length literary collections, three chapbooks, as well as flash and poetry pieces in literary journals, recently including Opiate Magazine, The Journal of Magical Wonder, and A Moon of One’s Own.  She is raising her daughter and dog with her husband in Alhambra, CA. 

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