I was 14
He was my track coach
I thought he was one of my best friends
He was 31
My brother left me alone
With his friend’s cousin
I didn’t want to
He said to me
It’s not over until
I say it’s over
And so it was
He also said to me
I love it when you get drunk
You will do anything
When you are drunk
They touched me, one causing pain
Lacking all sense of decency
One was a woman
At work as a nurse
Arms wrapped too tight
What would he say?
Nothing, he’d knock you out
Too much more
And I wonder why
I am how I am
Our young girls
Every vulnerable being
I was 14
Sometimes grief slips out
When I am least aware.
Like when the person on the radio says something so relatable,
Or the book my child is reading makes a relevant point,
And I feel it well up inside of me.
Throat constricting, tears brimming, nose running.
Usually I feel it and think why?
Why should I care anymore, you have been gone so long?
I should be over this….
Even as the tears slide down my face, and I pretend like I still don’t care.
It doesn’t matter that you were not kind
That you had not the ability to be thoughtful
That you were too broken
To be a caring person
That we were not close those last years.
Estrangement does not loosen the grip of grief
Though it can make it difficult
To break down and walk through the stoney cold wall
That was built up for protection.
But every now and then it happens
The proper words, the forgotten song,
The right set and setting…
And only then the grief leaks out, in micro amounts.
A few tears spilling down my cheeks
Silent, heart aching, never ending
A quiet reminder
That you are still missed.
Only then, grief spills out.
“This Is Life!” they said,
I sighed, rolled over
And continued to play dead.
Yet it rang in my ears
“But you can’t ignore it”, they said
I looked around and brushed away my fears.
I took a deep breath
And I yelled aloud
“This ain’t my life! If so I prefer Death!”
“Hmmmmph, well that ain’t right”
They whispered back
“But go ahead, walk into the light”.
So, I did: I leapt and I fell
Crawling into the light
Phew…heaven and not hell.
It should be the end of the story
However it wasn’t
I continue to rise, filled with glory.
“Told you” they said
Hmmm, maybe they were right
I am better off not dead.
Sunshine beats down on me
Until that precious moment when
Your gentle breezes cool my body.
Rain, lightening, thunder, humidity
Not one endless stream of happy weather
Wind kicks up white caps on the lake.
Hiking, laughing, sleeping, playing
Mini-golf, ice cream, sweet corn
And yet now, fall begins to creep in
Cooler evenings, brisk mornings, leaves changing
We bid you a fond farewell and adieu.
Both mired in the muck, the mud
Immersed so deeply in the darkness
They journey alongside one another
Striving, healing, rising
Lotus rises first
Flat leaves, broad and sturdy
Shading pond below
Silently growing, transforming.
Alongside lotus, dragonfly nymph
Slowly climbing out of muck
Arise above mud, and climb green reed
Lotus flower grows tall
Dragonfly nymph wriggles
Both work, both venture
A world unknown
A new life.
Lotus flower slowly blossoms
Emerging in sunlight
Drinking in warmth
Closing upon darkness
Patiently waiting, drying
Growing stronger through sitting
Preparing for flight.
Lessons to learn
Arise, arise, and arise above
The depths of darkness
From whence they came.
When fear overrides your love
And anxiety shakes your soul
I will bring you peace.
When the world crashes down
And tears roll forth
I will give you ease.
When the heart shatters again
Everyday an empty heartache
I will bring healing.
You will find me
When you listen closely
For I am right here.
I am here in the quiet morning sunrise
In the gentle summer breeze
And the clouds dancing against a bright blue sky.
I am here in each breath
In the nourishment you take
And in the moment you stop to see me.
I will guide you
Reminding you that you are loved
Even as the world crashes down.
One day we will rise up
With small smiles in our eyes
Our hearts bursting with love
And we will know peace.
One morning we will turn our backs
And walk slowly away
Knowing conscious freedom
Oppression now a thing of the past.
No more doubt, no more fear
Strength from within emerges
Kindness, care, compassion
Ruling this big blue planet.
Until then, I will believe
In the kindness of strangers
In the light from your eyes
In the call of the birds
And the warm breeze blowing over me.
I will believe in a greater good
A daily miracle from nature
A stronger power of presence.
I will believe in the season of change
Stepping up and moving forward
A path laid out at my feet
And freedom for all.