Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

I started writing poetry when I was 8 or 9. My first notebooks were full of rhyme, crude as it may have been. Over the years my writing morphed into rambling narrative free verse. From time to time I enjoy a quick dip back into the rhythmic river of rhyme. It feels playful to me even when the subject matter is weighty.

Here’s one I wrote some years ago.


Sometimes I imagine
my graduation day,
when my work here is complete—
no more karmic tolls to pay.

I wonder who will be there
when I slip outside my skin—
Will a dear dead friend come to guide me?
My lost parents? Other kin?

Will I glide away quite smoothly,
or resist my body’s end?
Be shown all unfolds perfectly,
that just around the bend

I will cease to be my small self
and dissolve into the fold
of the universal pulsing
that my human dreams foretold?

Will I trust my precious daughter
will be safe here on the earth?
She who’s occupied my whole heart
since her providential birth…

None of this life is guaranteed,
and I take none for granted
but in my dream of afterwards
I often am enchanted

by some great sense of knowing:
a remembering that we
are each a lone essential drop
of universal sea,

and though we can feel so separate
from our Source and from each other
before and after birth and death
we remember one another

as glorious notes of music
in a never ending song—
in spirit we aren’t disparate,
we remember. We belong.


–Melinda Coppola









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