I’m Dani Ward,

and I do lots of things.

Haikus with Dani: In Which There Is No Room.

It’s been a full year since I broke up with my spouse. A very hard year, if you recall. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to process things as best as I can, and that often looks like distilling emotions into haikus. Something about the structure and limitation seems to lend itself well to expressing myself in succinct and powerful ways (much like how Twitter’s character limit can help focus one’s thoughts).

I don’t really want to offer commentary on this. There is so much I am still processing. But it feels important to share it, and to share it now. And one of my goals is to listen to my intuition far more than I’ve been able to in the past.

One thing I will say is this: it’s a terrifying time in our country right now. To be a woman, not white, not straight, not healthy in body and mind. Most of my friend group — myself included — are fighting the creeping despair as we watch this new administration work so hard to make our lives at best uncomfortable and at worst nonexistent. It’s easy to not take care of yourself in an effort to remain informed, to know what fresh hell awaits every morning.

But the little things matter. Little things like remembering to eat. Checking in with friends. Asking people to check in on you. Kissing your loved ones. Snuggling your pets. Or even daring to simply take up space rather than making no room for yourself.


All throughout this year,
I could still only sleep on
one side of the bed.

I spent so much time
shrinking who I am to make
space for you to fill.

And you filled my life.
I orbited around you
like you were my sun.

I watched what I said
and withdrew from everyone
to avoid your wrath.

Perhaps “wrath” is harsh.
All I know is the dull dread
of your displeasure.

After all this time
I’m still unpacking your lies
and my illusions.

It’s been a whole year
and it’s still second nature
to withdraw and hide.

But tonight…I laid
in the middle of the bed.
There’s no room for you.

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