There, just there, under his heart
is where it began,
an odd stirring and warm.
Slow, steady, not the crazed gallop
as when heroin was his false idol.
This felt like loving a good woman,
like being understood,
like being accepted.
His memories rushed in to fill
the empty places of his mind.
He’d last felt this stirring as a boy
before his life went to hell.
Before he decided to live there awhile,
before the scars on his arms.
Now, slow as ice, he felt content with himself,
with the world.
Like he could live without idols.
Happy is what it was.
Just content with the slow, steady
beat of his heart.
Did it start with the iron brought down
hard on your head?
I don’t imagine it did.
I think of the thousands of ways it is possible
to hurt someone.
I think, Yes, there must have been previous
wounds to body and soul.
I think, Yes, you must have suffered often.
And was it just you?
Did your twin suffer as well?
Cut apart, we had no way to watch out for the others.
Like a spy, I got bits of information,
You lived alone.
Our father brought you groceries on Saturdays.
Upon meeting my daughter you cocked your head –
was that in some far-off recollection of my name,
or just a tic caused by the cursed iron?
On the final indignity of diabetes,
It took your leg, but was that all?
Did you enjoy anything at all,
locked away in your cell of a mind?
Our sister feels outrage that we were all
denied each other and now she’s always careful
to make sure I know how much she loves me.
Did anyone do the same for you?
I have more questions than answers, younger brother.
We were all just victims of our parents’ diseases.
And now you are free and I will never have a chance to
bring you groceries, whisper my name in your ear.
Impossible to forget the first time,
riding so high your heart nearly bursting
with the artificial joy.
You’ll never get that back – it’ll never be the same
no matter how many times you
stab yourself, hurt yourself, debase yourself.
Right now there’s only hunger
and chasing a foggy dream.
There’s only a mist-filled tunnel and
you can’t see the lights bearing down on you.
Small, alone, sweating, cowering on your knees.
Arise, sweet man,
take back your life,
but not for mother or lover; for you.
How did I become your project?
Friend, I’m trying to envision how the
conversation went that turned me
into something that needed
teaching, saving, a gentle, fierce project
that would save me into Jesus’ loving care.
Do you know this?
What about this?
Oh you’re a smarter monkey than we’d thought.
Impossible that I could simply be
as good as you.
If you don’t believe I’m His,
just ask Him – He will tell you to Whom I belong.
Your arrogance eats at the ego
I’m desperately dancing to rid myself of.
I think of your efforts on my behalf & feel
obliged to allow you access to my Spirit.
Then, later, alone in my lonely room,
the bitter taste of self-betrayal fills my mouth.
Please, don’t try to save me –
Someone else has already done your work.
You see, Beloved, the truth is that
I just don’t like you very much.
In another kind of life we wouldn’t
hang out together, share our secrets or
cry our tears over the milk we’ve spilt.
I have not found a well of respect for you;
Nor can I take you or your silly life seriously.
I so wish I could, but there’s a boulder
standing in my way that just won’t let me pass,
no matter how much I bribe & weep.
Nature dictates I love you &
sometimes I can almost manage that, but
Respect? Affection? Empathy?
Sorry, can’t summon them.
I just don’t like you very much.
I remember loving you with nuclear heat
Though we stayed cool together,
our feelings ran deep & our flesh
was contained in polished exoskeletons.
No one could touch us; many tried,
calm & knowing
to whom we belonged
Easily kept the world out of our shells.
We hardly spoke, yet it was clear
we partook of destiny – so meant to be
That the world didn’t trouble us at all.
You bought me a silver engraved heart necklace –
I still remember the weight of it around my neck
And I miss it just as I miss you.
Floated around her bare legs like flags waved in surrender.
All shades represented, from almost white to blue-black,
She stood at attention, trying to focus
On the tea instead of the delicious slide of silk on silken skin.
He waited, patient as a crone
For her to take another step into his world.
Not really giving a damn about the tea;
Her presence owning him completely.
They each saw something in the other
That belied the truth – she, able to surrender,
And he, thirsty.
These hands look just like my great-grandmother’s – we called her Granny. I think they are beautiful & reflect a lifetime spent doing for others – these are the hands of love. Lately I’m noticing a change in my own hands – my collagen is gone & I’m starting to get wrinkles there & I’m realizing I’m on my way to having hands like these. I’ve always been vain about my hands, so I have mixed feelings about this latest change in my body.
My Granny was a wonderful mother; anything I learned about how to love I learned from her & her eldest daughter, my grandmother. Recently one of my granddaughters called me Granny & I discovered that I’m perfectly ok with that. I’m a young-looking 57, so I don’t look the part, but if that’s what she wants to call me, I’ll take it. I’m discovering that I really love being a grandmother. I wish I had the means to spoil them all rotten, but they’ll just have to settle for me. I hope I’m enough. I hope I’m half the loving grandmother my Granny was.
After my last post my roommate & I had a bible study with another sister. The topic was discipleship. I learned that the bible only refers to Christ followers as Christians 3 times. We are far more often called disciples & are commanded to take up our cross & follow Him. We are further commanded to deny ourselves & follow God’s way & to know that it isn’t easy – just as Christ’s mission wasn’t easy. But this is how the world will know Who we follow. Jesus also gives a beautiful promise after the command to follow Him: that He will surely be with us through difficult times & circumstances.
It occurred to me that this other “Mom” could very well be my cross to take up & that in obeying God & praying for her, she could find salvation. That is none of my business; I’m simply commanded to love her. True, I’ve had to pray to the Holy Spirit to love her through me because I just can’t yet bring myself to love her. That may be the best I can do for awhile in my human weakness. But I’ve prayed to love others who have done me wrong; she won’t be the first, so I have every expectation of success. With God’s help, Amen.
I’m having a problem with jealousy. My daughter calls another woman Mom & this drives me mad with rage. Because she calls me Mom as well. And I’m sure the other Mom knows this & is laughing her ass off about it, because you see, she’s just that kind of person. It wasn’t bad enough she stole my husband & any chance we had of staying together, she taught my children to call her mom. This was before I left, but it was a huge reason I did leave. And she’s still doing it. My twins are 35 years old & still persist in this practice. She’s a drug & alcohol-ridden piece of garbage, but she gets to be called Mom. Some days I just don’t know how I’m going to be able to work through this.