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.
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.
Just a few are gathered now
In a place so light and free
Just a few converging
One of them could be me.
Just a few assembled
To dance under a sinking sun
Soon nighttime will gather
You won’t find them on the run.
Amassing love and peace
Souls create a true convergence
They practice and rehearse
Creating a love-filled resurgence.
We will keep on dancing
Moving under a star-lit sky
Spinning and twirling
We are free until they die.
All will still be singing
Those precious songs from within
There are no words, only space
Little comforts in this tailspin.
It will surely end in death
But at least we will be free
All certainly ends with nothing
And the same will be of me.
Until that time I will keep dancing
Singing until I am free
Until then you will find me twirling
Living, a mind full of God’s esprit.
Darling, you can keep on dancing
For it will set your spirit free
You may look within your own sweet self
Gazing deeper still to see.
I had some good poems
They were written in my head
I awoke in the morning
Only to find the poems were quite dead.
I frowned down upon them
And sadly shook my head,
You naughty little things
How could you show up so very dead?
They still wouldn’t budge, not even a bit
Crying, sighing, they still remained dead
So I stopped what I was doing
And to the light I lifted my head.
“Forgive me great universe
These ones wound up being dead”
I prayed over and over again
A chant forming in my head.
And then I let them go
Farewell poems leaving space inside my head
Searching for those new kind words
Having finally let go of you, dear departed dead.
Until Peace washes over us
We will continue to suffer
And cry for something more
Not knowing which way to go
Until Peace engulfs us
And reigns from land to land
We will mourn the loss of loved ones
Crying out and wondering why
Until Peace soothes our souls
There will be war, hate, and fear
Destruction of beauty, loss of life
Deception and corruption abound.
Until Peace begins with me
And you, each person striving
To be and bring love into this world
We will need to trust and believe, all is well.
We formed a circle
Sitting around a center filled with love
And reminders: hearts, candles, light.
And we shared
And reached for rumbled tissues.
We sat in that circle and we realized
How completely broken and shattered we are
And how completely whole and loved we are.
In that circle, we were both and all.
Emotions came tumbling out of us
Unlocked by a greater presence.
So now we fly apart and away from the center
We continue on this healing journey
Grieving and healing, laughing and crying.
Answering the call toward love
That grew from moments in the circle.