Working It Through by Jeremy Blackwater

 Such a thin line between

The hole that does not heal

And the Whole

That ties together.

 

I expected so much

From a visit to the past

Hope of a new beginning

Of friendly words.

 

It all went wrong

From their first bottle.

My eyes narrowed

As I watch their grasping.

 

Anything to block out

The betrayal of Christmas

The cost of treachery

Of unresolved concerns.

 

Alcohol doesn’t release

Kindness and gentleness.

It bottles up disappointment

That leaks out in cruelty.

 

I look at the younger children.

Their faces are frozen

In fierce vulnerability

Of flattened hopes.

 

I start looking

For a quick way out,

Of a volatile space

Of ferocious fists.

 

I’m too late.

She slaps my sister

Yelling about implausible

Slights.

 

My brother surges forward

Only to be pushed

Into a sofa

For imagined haughtiness.

 

I grab them both

And shove them outside

To wait for a friend

To rescue.

 

She comes but

Those inside

Bring their vehemence

Outside.

 

We all get jostled

As we jump into the car.

We laugh nervously

As we inspect our bruises.

 

My heart aches.

As I use words

To try to close

The gaping disenchantment hole.

 

Nothing works.

Sourness spills out.

I tighten up inside

Hoping nothing spills out.

 

Before they can

Be whole again,

Trustful of connections

Secure in risks,

 

I have to mend

My own

Sadness

By going within.

 

A part of me says

It’s all on me.

I have to solve it,

Start doing something.

 

Another part of me knows

That I am connected

To something wonderous

That sets off the holy in me.

 

It is so strange

How often the awesome

Creeps in and

Fills me with delight.

 

I can’t explain it.

Maybe someone

Pours me a coffee unasked

Or listens to me without judgment.

 

I am whole when

I connect these fragments of myself.

When I work hard at issues

When I receive something unexpected.

 

Wholeness is core

To my relevance

To my dignity

To my hope.

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