top of page

child-heart: poems by Isabel Chenot

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

dewy flower, image by Myriam Zilles, on Pixabay


“For You are our Father though Abraham does not know us” (Isaiah 63:16).

The child-heart in me cries

from long ago

when I was broken to a legacy

of sorrow.

The child-heart in me cries

afraid of nights.

With unhushed nightmares, unkissed hurts,

the grown-up fights.

The child-heart in me cries

but no one hears,

or if they do — no arms can gather in

my clench-fist years.

The child-heart in me cries.

Much of me’s false,

but my last sound

will be the sobbing of my pulse.

The child-heart in me cries

and cries and cries

its undeterred

first trauma, heartache, hunger-word:





mountains-greyscale, by Isabel Chenot


The wind that blew the grasses

blew my hair.

There was a moon-curve and a mountainside.

I was as small as grass, as slanted

through the air.

— I think I was as beautiful.

The earth was breathing. And the atmosphere

was pressing love down on the little things that grew,

till we became intelligible.

Until I queried life, and knew.

Life came as clear

as prayer.

We had not wandered

to arrive, but there

below the moon —

I was.

A cowpath shone.

I told you

I was glad to be alive.


~ “Woman”

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1)

I am a woman who was drawing water at the common well,

one noon —

my life too common and confused in all its convoluted steps to tell —

though I had started seeking something true.

But I was false.

And every step I ever took, I fell;

and I had given up;

and I was merely coming to draw water at the well.

But you were drawing, all my convoluted way,

up till that noon.


I am a woman who was taken in my course of day,

and dragged into your court, accused.

I stood there 'til the other voices died away:

you asked for my accusers,

and I answered “No one” — while my heart said,


But you defended.

The sentencing

was your voice, telling me the past had ended.

I was new.


I am a woman who was weeping in a garden

by a tomb —

and no one understood what I was seeking,

what I had buried in my years.

Not even I could fully understand

all of those tears.

You called me from the earliest garden, “Woman”;

asked me why I wept, whom I was seeking.

All that I had known in part

was in your voice.

When you asked, I knew

the thing that died and broke my heart

and I said, You.

My heart said,



Isabel Chenot’s work has appeared before in Spirit Fire Review, as well as in

Indiana Voice Journal, Assisi, Avocet, and Blue Unicorn, among other journals.

For a preview of West of Moonlight, East of Dawn, her retelling of an old fairy tale,

August 2021 issue

172 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All


"I told you

I was glad to be alive. "


I especially love the first stanza of “Woman.” The imagery of a false heart stumbling in its search for truth, yet being drawn just as she was drawing water. So beautiful.


Janine Pickett
Janine Pickett
Aug 29, 2021

Beautiful poems! Isabel, your poetry touches my heart.

bottom of page