Sunday, April 25, 2010


In our empty kitchen
she held me,
shaking with overlapping sobs.
And I held back –
held on for dear life,
stunned into an impervious state.
It was a crying so surreal;
so severe, that it sounded
like wails of laughter
bouncing off the walls of the room
and slapping my face like
an unyielding torrent of anguish.
The ambiguous streak that divides
the two forms of hysterics
is shockingly obscure.
I had to check her face –
make sure the tears were real,
make sure the maternal body
upon my frame
was racked with grief,
not laughter;
seizing with pain,
not laughter.
It was a sobbing so intense
it tricked me into laughing.
I couldn’t stop.
An uninvited grin spit out the anomaly
in that drenched kitchen,
but she mistook my heaves for empathizing sobs.
And as I stood letting her tears
soak my hair and neck with guilt,
I marked the moment
where the weight of those years
finally took its toll
and made me laugh as
my mother cried with the sadness
of an entire dying world.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Under the blanket of darkness, she reveled in silence. So easy to forget the day, as the shadows slowly merged to fill each corner and crevice of the room. She could see nothing that could harm her in darkness, and hear nothing that would hurt her in silence.

The only reminder of the outside world was the occasional uninvited headlights that invaded the bedroom through the curtainless windows. If the outside reminders became too insistent, she would pull the covers over her head, sheltering her adolescent mind from what was too much to endure.

It was then she could try to sort the day. It was before she knew better than to try to implore God for empathy and reformation. It was long before she had quit wondering why she was obligated to carry such weight, before she had succumbed to just bearing it without question. She put these questions forth, to the darkness, to her God, to the guardian she clung to, and she searched her heart for answers, finding only herself and the silence of the night.

When the sun adversely rose, the familiar sounds assaulted. The refuge consumed, she was bare and exposed. She ignored her shining vulnerability, however, already looking toward the night and the absence of the desolate flow of the day. She proceeded down, toward the noise and into the lion’s den to fill another page of her life.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

roger is gone

I didn't cry because I didn't know what to think.
The day was full of conflict.
Thunder cracked and a stream trickled off the tent and down my back,
slow and unavoidable.
Rain splat and packed the ominous mound of dirt,
drowning out the chanted condolence.
I didn't know my family; they were someone else that morning.
But I finally knew my uncle.
He shared so much with us this way.
The depth, the darkness, the last minutes of utter despair.
The hopelessness of seeing no way out,
of seeing no other possibility but ending his life.