Shard#1: Insurmountable Distance

Cal W. Stannard
2 min readMay 16, 2021

Nothing handed to us came free;
Young family, hometown, too expensive to breathe
Anything borrowed in desperate times; I paid back in full
Anything else: I worked hard for and earned, or stole
It’s not a lesson I ever want my daughter to learn
Ironic, she’s the reason I do things I can’t condone

Video call: see their private collection in the background
I tilt the screen so you can’t see my wallpaper falling down
Landlords stay taking deposits they don’t need,
There’s money to be made in the pandemic; immortal greed
Nothing more deadly than shame when you can’t provide
In the dirt you lose sight of the compass inside

The only treasure in all this is holding you tight
We’re alone together now as the day becomes night
They might find a cure, to lower deep in our bones
But the future’s already here, down the road, in our homes
In our minds, our genes, our children so bright
As they lay gently sleeping we started their fight

We fashioned the crown too big for their heads
It slips down too low and rests around their necks
We didn’t want them to carry, marched on anyway
Now tomorrow’s today, and it’s here to stay
Could we run to a place where the sirens can’t find us?
I look into your eyes for the trust that binds us

They tell us now — normal life’s coming back
It’s not Life that really left, but a part of Us
They tell us now — normal life’s coming back
But will we even recognise it when it does?
They tell us now — normal life’s coming back
And what precarious solace that it all was

What a year it was, “What a year” they’ll say
But the way things changed are the way they’ll stay
I hope the wind caught you pulling a friendly face
Hope you held your own and stood firm in place
“What’s a year?” they ask, “in the grand old scheme?”
How lucky we are that kids forget what they’ve seen

With 30 approaching I decided I should start actually ‘publishing’ the scraps and shards of stuff I’ve been writing over the last couple years rather than hoarding and picking over them for eternity. They’re not all fully formed but I think it will encourage me to be a bit more intentional about continuing if I have an audience (ain’t that always been the truth)



Cal W. Stannard

I write short stories, lyrics without songs, talk about music and mental health and share photography. “I speak that ugly elegant”