47 Inches The rain has saturated my very soul caused my heart to swell and crack caused my eyes to blur and hallucinate golden sun the rain has saturated my very soul waterlogged my spirit and made my tears invisible. copyright2017caceresbg Advertisements

Yes, It Hurts…

A few days ago a colleague of mine asked for the name of the drug that killed Michael Jackson.
“Propofol” I answered.
“It makes you forget, dosen’t it?” And she went on to lament the fact that no such drug is available for regular use and wouldn’t it be nice to take a pill and just forget your bad memories?

She doesn’t know yet how important memories are—even the bad ones—especially the bad ones. She hasn’t yet moved beyond the pain she wants to forget.

I should tell her, erasing bad memories isn’t the answer. Accept the pain and put it in its proper place. I would tell her to imagine her brain as if it’s a closet that needs organizing. The bad memories can be categorized and filed and placed in a simple cardboard box out of her line of vision. They will always be there and one day she might even want to pull them forward, bring them back and reminiscence.

Our memories are as individual as our fingerprints. In any given situation, no one will have the same perceptions or remember events in exactly the same way. Memories are the history book of our own lives. Days are pages, months are chapters and a year can be an entire book, while our life experiences will grow to volumes.

I should tell her to feel the pain. Treat it like childbirth. Ride it like a wave and breathe, breathe until you move in rhythm with it. The pain will fade and you’ll be left—not with scars—but with a new sensitivity, a compassion and deeper understanding, and you may not even need to file the memory away, just let it be a part of you.

Being able to accept emotional discomfort is necessary. While no one wants to feel bad we all need coping skills. Coping skills allow a person to function during stressful events. Processing emotional pain means gaining wisdom.

I want to tell my colleague that being strong doesn’t mean not being affected by unfortunate events. It ‘s not about false bravado or nonchalance. She begins to cry softly at her desk. I want to tell her all of what I believe but I say nothing and just hold her tight in my arms for a few minutes.


Two Poems

For Ben

Knocked from your pedestal by the truth
we are no longer strangers
your children
like mine
are a gift to this family
without blood as a binding agent
they are here by grace
and power
and cannot be bullied by your family name.


Banker’s Hours

He wants to fire me because I don’t share his love of numbers
but how can I love that which is like dust;
colorless and ubiquitous?
Forcing into the soft palm of my hand those sharp edges
of sevens, fours and ones
he grins the way insiders do
and I smile with crazy 8 eyes
and force my lips into a big zero.

April is National Poetry Month!

Season of Doubt

And the rain tastes of dirt and metal
from a sky unsure of its mood
falling in small fists; this infant thing
promises, promises
tomorrow will be better, will be green!
but who do we trust? Cries the sky
I will not take you back.

Set free before you had the chance
to decline freedom
in a kaleidoscope of days
unencumbered promises
bruised on tender lips
but who do we trust? Cries the sky
I will not take you back.

A fist unfurls to reveal
saplings in a bird’s nest
baby’s tender heard melts black
like asphalt in June
but too soon we cry and again the same question–
who do we trust?
I will not take you back.