All the tears that I shed

I shed inside

keeping them lodged in my throat

until they steal my voice.

the caged bird does not sing

not because she is too sad

although she is

but because

she has no voice

all the bars of my cage

are self constructed

and yet

I still cannot escape



Family Feeling

The tumbled jumble of 
unsortable emotions

and heart stopping agony
cause sorrow to leak from my eyes
and my soul to leach out,
to be laid on the sweltering sidewalk
trodden into the shimmering concrete
by feckless feet


Impending doom. That is the feeling plaguing members of my family and assorted friends. For some of them, the big craziness that is loose in the world just got a little too close to home, touching someone they know and knocking them out of play. That, “There, but for the grace of god….” feeling. Others are afraid of making that fatal misstep. The one that causes them to slide, willy-nilly, down that slippery slope to disaster, crushing the “hollow egg” ( they are carrying. The rest of them, I think, have just fallen into the habit of dreading the onrushing changes life flings into your path. No longer able to leap spryly over the random obstacles they fear them for their potential to show off this lack of agility. My friends are afraid of being found wanting. Of not “measuring up” or being able to “carry their end” any longer. They are afraid the bogey man is going to get them. I’m not, anymore.
The bogey man already got me. The unthinkable happened. You read about that stuff in magazines, and you say, “Oh, how awful! Those poor people.” and then you turn the page. Except I couldn’t. Turn the page. I was ON the page. One of those terrible, sad, magazine things, was happening all around me. Never having been either spry or graceful, I had no choice but to slog on through. For a year and a half, I slogged. Then she died. My daughter. The earth stood still. Time stopped. The howling wolves broke down the farmhouse door and ate the brave farmer and his family. Madness ruled the world. And I knew for sure that the big craziness could get me, too. It had, and yet here I was, still standing, after a fashion. Still breathing. Still aching.
So. I know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that doom is survivable. That I can survive it. That the end of the world, in fact, isn’t. It is just the end of life as we know it. Life as we don’t know it, springs up and after a while, becomes, in its own turn, normal. Damocles’ sword has fallen, and it only severed an arm. I’ve had my trial by fire and have passed the test. I no longer fear doom. Lacking that fear I never see his looming, impending specter anymore. He spends his time more profitably, on other, braver people. For you see, lacking fear, I am no longer courageous. That is for those who continue despite their fear. That’s ok. I know that I can BE brave, if I have to. I’m gonna save it for then. I hope I don’t ever have to use it.

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