Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

From Birth

It’s thick, this heartbreak
Black and smooth
a vacuum rather than a raging, jagged mountain
Where nothing enters and nothing exits,
where love rarely penetrates,
it stands unhealed.

This cavity of a broken heart, dysfunctional before its debut,
It is solid, it is visible
But it’s hidden
You have to come by the back door to see this wound, not meant for the eye of the casual observer
It swings open with cavalier comment,
flip brush off
casual carelessness

“You were not meant to be whole,” it says.
“No one ever wanted you,” it says.
“You are the problem,” it says.

How is it that a void shouts such violence?
Hidden and small, ferocious and unrelenting, this.

I was born with a broken heart.

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I am still surprised by every silence
How each twist of anxiety makes my breath catch
How every swelling tear forces my hard swallow
How every heartache makes me tilt my head in wonder

This is feeling

This is what I begged to have
Oh, double-edged sword that you are
When you were elusive, I sensed only the dull ache
of a barren heart

As you return and threaten to spill over the narrow banks
that contain your shallow bottom,
I am overcome

But buried on the silty floor just below the squish
is a joy
A joy that says but one thing of all the pain:
Worth it.

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I’m miserable. My throat hurts and my head hurts and I’m exhausted from nightmares and lack of sleep. I whine when I’m miserable. And when I have some clarity about my husband’s job situation, I’ll update, but that’s serving to make me even more miserable. Sigh.

Anyhow, Epi, our church’s writer’s corner came out today, and I included this poem. I spent quite a bit of time on it by my standards, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. It says to me that even my earliest memories aren’t my first story.

My First Story

It is not, “How could you do this to us?”
“No daughter of mine”
Or a late spring wedding, fast before she blooms

It is not swimming in a dark salty sea,
tethered to she who wished to cut me loose
Or the cheek throbbing hot and red from knuckle striking bone

It is not the inky stain of violation, pooled and permanent
sunk to soul
Or thick summer Sundays full of wood and brass and song

It is not rage spilling into crimson sear,
breath of fire spreading wild
Or being called adjectives rather than my own proper name

It is not back child support in thin green envelopes,
Forty-two dollars per week
Or the absence of abandonment, better this way

It is not the, “I wish you were never born”
(which translates to, “I wish you were dead”)
Or the baby who, because of memory’s ricochet, never drew first breath

It is not the tug of convention;
marriage, motherhood, roots
Or the deep rolling shame that aches and thunders


It is rather the soft call of home,
somehow known though never known
The redress and recompense

It is the First, the Last, the I Am,
Author of Life and Ancient of Days
The unsearchable mystery of being found

It is the joy of being bare-faced and
blue-jeaned and whole
The delicate lilt that captures my ear

It is my wounded heart weeping,
finally weeping, through its thick balm
The dignity remembrance lends to suffering

It is the nightmare calmed,
brow mopped and hair smoothed
The gruesome yet profound beauty of truth

It is the Artist’s hand sculpting the slope of my nose,
curve of my hip, arch of my foot
The monogram graven deep, forever on His palms

It is He whose name is the sound of my breathing,
worship spoken holy in the raging silence
This Jesus; He is my first story

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To Dance

she gallops, flails, hops across the smooth wood floor
toes tapping firm, seeking their connection to art and earth

there’s joy when her little eye meets mine,
shy smile revealing the jubilee
abandon in motion
purpose in flight

reality is the reunion of toe and plank
gravity’s invisible but sure pressure on little shoulders,
reigning in her wild desire to fly

she leaps again, as if to say that she will not fall into line, will not bow to reason
breaks the laws of atmosphere and expectation

she dances

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