This poem is based on the play I saw in Newcastle, Rebecca, adapted from the novel written by Daphne du Maurier.


I think that in some way
I relate very strongly
To the new Mrs. de Winter,
Who remains nameless.

She marries a man
She barely knows
In a whirlwind romance
And finds herself
In a world
She doesn’t understand.
She is young and sweet
And doesn’t want to make waves
But just settle into her new life
As swiftly as possible
And be friends with everyone.

Her husband marries her,
It turns out,
Because she is the opposite
Of Rebecca,
His late first wife,
Who was malevolent and manipulative.

But he carries secrets,
And the staff know too much
And by holding on
So tightly to her
He made her change.

She knew his deadly secret
And needed to be strong
For him.
He wanted her
To save him
But the woman she was
Was ill-equipped.


She grew scales
And the light in her eyes.
The childlike wonder,
Became something else.
Fearlessness. Determination.

Her husband said
He missed who she was.
He didn’t understand
That you can’t have it both ways.

You can’t love someone
And expect them
To stay the same.

It is through challenges
That people show you
Who they really are.
Do they crack under pressure
Or do they pull from
Some inner strength
They never knew
They had?
Do they hold it together
For your sorry ass
Or defer to you
To make a decision
You cannot assemble?

You would resent that weakness
In the same way
You misunderstand the fire
Of a strong woman.

We do not stay starry-eyed.


You will see glimpses
Of our past selves.
You will see us dancing in the car,
With the wind blowing our hair.
You will see us
Splashing in waves at the beach,
Trying on hats at a store,
Getting dressed up
To go somewhere special.
You will see us
When we forget ourselves
And drift off to sleep.

But we are changed.

Not to say that we are worse,
Or better,
Or anything in between.
We have seen things,
The sum,
Not of our experiences,
But of what we chose to do with them.
Whether or not
We let them
Define us.
And how.

In some way,
We are all the nameless Mrs. de Winter,
Somewhere in the middle,
Stuck between anonymous
And Rebecca.