Halfway Home
by Nicholas Batdorf

I saw you walking by,
A figment of my mind,
The echo of my dream.

Blink once, blink twice
And you were never here
The way the wind makes smoke disappear.
Poof! In passing
You’ve left me asking
Who? What? How?
If only I could have a name.
Maybe I’d remember.
Remember you forever.
But as fast as you came
You’re already gone.
Like a phantom in the daylight
Running from the sun.

IMAGE: “Woman of Mystery” by Fernand Khnopff (1909)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem at my first day in a drug and alcohol halfway home treatment facility. I had spent the last five months incarcerated or in an in-patient drug and alcohol facility, and this was my first step towards freedom. My intake to the halfway home coincided with a Puerto Rican Pride block party the halfway home shared the street with. The atmosphere was not deemed recovery-friendly, and no one was allowed off of the premises. I was so close to a taste of freedom, but caged within an alleyway on the premises, watching merry partygoers pass. And then I saw her. A tall, graceful woman with dark hair and sun-kissed skin. And in those few moments of her passing by the gateway separating us, time stood still and an eternity of questions and scenarios ran through my mind. What I would have given to even have just a name to attribute to such beauty, a shred of identity to credit that musical, confident walk to. Just as quickly as she came, she was gone. And with her, the music and the light of day seemed to fade.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicholas Batdorf is an avid musician as well as a writer of poetry. His love of music carries forth throughout his writing in his lyrical, rhythmic style. A lover of the visual arts, Nicholas uses vivid imagery to lend his readers’ imaginations ample space to wander within his poems. Follow Nicholas on Instagram @nicky_knack, or Tumblr nicky-knack.tumblr.com.