Before he dropped the bomb
I had a regular, consistent gratitude practce.
I recorded five things every night
for which I was grateful.
I had been doing this for years,
and had already filled multiple books
with my nightly gratitudes.
After he dropped the bomb,
I expanded my practice.
When my mind was telling me my life was over
and that I’d never be happy again,
I recorded twenty things every night
for which I was grateful.
I began to count the smallest things
the way the sun rose,
the way my child’s voice sounds,
the taste of soup,
the temperature of the wind.
I realized that those “little” things
are enormous in their beauty
and their presence.
I realized I could be more grateful.
I started to realize that happiness
is a choice I make every day.
I’m into my healing process.
I can thank him for dropping the bomb
and blowing my old life to bits
so that I could create a new life.
I’m still working on forgiveness,
but that is another poem.
Just when I think to myself
I’ve got this, I’m better,
I’m back down on my knees
by the side of my bed
sobbing the Serenity Prayer
to some Higher Power
I hope exists
but whose presence
I cannot quite feel
in those moments
of deep sadness and disconnection.
I turn back to my breath.
I sigh out the deep pain,
but it keeps coming,
the tears keep coming.
Is there no end to this?
for things to get better,
to be clearer,
to be easier.
Then I’m afraid…
because they’re not changing,
or I’m not changing,
and reality keeps reminding me
that waiting for a problem to solve itself
won’t get the problem solved.
What is the proper action to take,
when your whole world falls apart,
and you’re living in a hologram of the past?
I can see everything as it was,
four ghosts sitting around the dinner table,
blurs of movement
out of the corner of my eye
from events that took place years ago.
The reality is,
I’m just by myself tonight,
the house is quiet,
and my two children
are with the man who used to be my husband.
But sometimes it feels like he is still here.
Sometimes I expect my children
to run up to me,
to call out to me,
even though I know they’re not here.
It’s eerie, the way the mind plays tricks.
Help me, Great Spirit,
help me return to what is real.
Let me do what needs to be done.
No more waiting;
I’m ready to live again.
I want to forgive you.
I know my pain is holding me back,
and I know that my sadness
was never your fault.
I gave you too much power.
I wanted you to be my redeemer.
And after a while,
you were no longer my lover,
or my partner, or my best friend.
We fell apart…
and it is no one’s fault.
But how to move forward,
when the pain of loss
burns so brightly, still,
inside my heart?
You never cared about my words before,
but now, suddenly, you do?
You think you can use them to hurt me?
The joke’s on you.
If you’re going to read them,
you might as well know,
that I will love you always,
although not as before.
You share a bed with another now…
Do her eyes meet yours with equal intensity?
Will she be there for you if you fall?
Does she love your family like I still do?
Will she hold your nieces and nephews
in her heart, will she look into their eyes?
Will she make you pajamas too?
Will she make your bed?
Will she wash your clothes?
Will she scoop the litter box?
Will she bring you tall glasses of ice water
in the summertime
when you’re outside doing yard work?
Will she stand up to you
when you try to force your hand?
Or will she just drink and watch TV with you?
Enjoy a rock concert or two,
a fancy dinner, a fancy vacation,
just her and you…
That’s what you wanted, yes?
Another you, with longer hair
and a female body
to help you forget
what you left behind.
I’ve been searching for something out there,
sometimes catching a whiff of its fragrance
in the wind.
It would render me melancholy
to sense it but experience it
so far away,
when my heart longed for this thing
I could not know.
Sometimes it was a rush of cold air
into my nostrils
as I stepped from my grandmother’s house
into the winter night
and I’d search for the star
in the dark blue sky
that told me the light
was returning soon.
For the longest time
I feared the magic and suppressed it
much to my heart’s dismay.
The whole world seemed cold and dark
and I was trapped in a prison
of my own making.
Spirit came to rattle me out of my cage
and throw me into the light of day.
Such a fool I was,
resisting a project of God’s hand.
How can I stop the ocean from surging?
How can I move the sun in the sky?
How can I make the moon glow brightly?
How can I give the gift of new life?
I only experience these things
because consciousness pours through me.
Who made this consciousness,
the perceiver and the perceived?
My body speaks clearly.
Its language is believed.
I trust the longing in me now.
The magic in me swells alive within.
I open the door to the cold and dark everywhere
and catch its beloved fragrance on the wind.
How could I ever love again?
Heart broken into a thousand tiny pieces…
Memories as fresh as if they happened yesterday
turning in my stomach as I turn down a street
we drove together a thousand times.
I breathe. I’m still here.
How could I ever trust again?
Vows broken as if they were nothing.
Contracts unspoken, lives undone,
families shattered into unrecognizable iterations,
the friendly faces that were once so dear to me
withhold their light, retreat into darkness, silence.
Who am I in this chaos?
If I am to love, I must love myself.
If I am to trust, I must trust myself.
If I am to find wholeness, I must complete myself.
God, hear my prayer.
Let me trust these changes.
Let me believe good things are coming
in the new dawning of my soul
as I finally release the sad hollowness
of a love that was held and nourished faithfully
by just one half of us.