I was told that I’m not allowed to offer family advice.
Twenty years gone but I made it out alive.
Let me tell you why you’re wrong, because you are.
what it’s like to hold bitterness
what it feels like to reject those who love me
what holidays, loneliness, and anger tastes like
what Christmas morning looks like without oranges
what Thanksgiving is like without mincemeat pie
what birthdays feel like without shared history seeping
what anguish unsupported loss endures
what it took to wake me up (although I’m sure you think it was you)
what I had to realize before I could bolster my courage
what it is to ask forgiveness for being a fool
to walk into the unknown with hat in hand
to step cautiously to the edge of the cliff and
how much damage I’ve done but not to the extent
what rebuilding a bridge with still smoldering lumber is like
that sometimes bitterness takes the form of pride
that abuses of history, privilege, and birthright exist
that time goes faster than a blink
that it’s far later than you’d think
right now, (not that you’ll read this) you’re lost
you blame me for not having money, not loving him, but
most of all for loving you and not choking on your pride.
You are so far in the darkness that the light feels like an insult
I love you despite yourself.
I’ll still be here when you’re ready.
I made my six year old vow to always be there for you,
you didn’t and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t and didn’t for him
you won’t believe me.
I’m okay with that.
you need to return home before you’re too afraid to come back
you’re a better man than you’ve become
I believe in you even if I don’t understand why you chose this way.
I KNOW. I see. I LOVE you anyway.
She once was my holiest of Saviors
begging my life of me as a personal favor
when that night sailed away with the moon.
If not for the promise I gave her
from my ugliest desperate behavior
I’d have deserted the weeping stars too soon.
Now the full moon rises stark
bringing forth what won from dark
as the stars witness my release
I emancipate her hand, relinquish her heart
Another path taken on this journey I embark
To her I offer a blessing of light, love and peace
The orange halo of the street lamp stands sentinel against the imposing shadows, ozone aromatizes the night.
The edges are fuzzy with skittering raindrops that become blurry with animated protests from jitterbugging leaves.
The paparazzi lightning flares vivid purple/white/lavender rapidly with undulating rolls of thunderous applause.
The gray asphalt steams refused moisture like a lover refusing to be lit afire with passion, darkened by gravity.
A gust of harsh wind bullies a weak branch with a vicious shove downward. Lightning showcases, thunder tattles.
The depression in the parking lot pools a pond where frogs take solace from the forest. They croak there.
The white noise lullaby on the tin roof begs to be only heard through drifts of deepening sleep which I can’t grant.
The wee hours tick-tock-tick-tock, the clock strikes 13, 4, 9, 11 but it doesn’t matter, I dream sleep away.
A first kiss,
A first glance
a first I love you,
a first dance.
A first breath taken
a first naked sight,
a first cuddle session
a first all night
a first hand held
a first hugged tight
a first tear falling
a first real fight
a first point of forgiveness
a first letting go
a first remembrance
a first icy floe
a first heart joining
a first sacrifice
a first combining
a first paradise
a first real knowing
a first wedding band
a first adult growing
a first real stand
a first decade together
a first homestead
a first storm weathered
a first child bred
a first job taken
a first car bought
a first laugh sated
a first joke caught
a first illness battled
a first bill of cost
a first realization
a first fear of loss
a first grateful heart
a first hand held so tight
a first comfort given
a first done just right.
When I was little, I just wanted to be something.
I wanted to be a firefighter like my Grandfather.
I wanted to be a doctor like my cousin.
I wanted to be successful with money in my pocket
and a home to return to at the end of the day.
But then the abuse happened.
I couldn’t see myself anymore doing anything
because the pain was just too much.
I found I could get temporary relief,
if I just took one more hit from the pipe.
The only thing I wanted to do was run.
I wanted to run as far away as I could
But then I ran too far and I couldn’t come back.
When I was little, I only wanted to be loved.
I can’t even be that any more.
It was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it.
But it happened and I can’t come back any more.
If I could tell you one thing,
I’d tell you to love yourself before it’s too late.
I couldn’t. You can.
The picture used belongs to http://amorphia-apparel.com/